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Transcript of Moby Dick
The Blanket Key Ideas Discussion Summary Moby Dick Chapters 68 & 87 Jill F
Chris S They catch a whale. They begin the process of stripping it of it's blubber. In this chapter, Ishmael describes how layered the skin of a whale is. Ishmael compares it to the many layers of life.
"In life, the visible surface of the Sperm Whale is not the least among the many marvels he presents."
"It does seem to me, that herein we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality, and the rare virtue of thick walls, and the rare virtue of interior spaciousness." Summary of 87
The Grand Armada In this chapter, the ship comes across a school of whales swimming in a circle, called the Grand Armada. Pirates chase after the Pequod, but the Pequod escapes. The Pequod chases and tries to capture the pod of whales in the middle of their circle. The crew throw ropes and create chaos to tire out the swimming whales. The Pequod succeeds in capturing one whale.
"But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy." Chapter 87, pg. 328
But how now? in this zoned quest, does Ahab touch no land? does his crew drink air? Surely, he will stop for water. Nay. For a long time, now, the circus-running sun had raced within his fiery ring, and needs no sustenance but what's in himself. So Ahab.
But far beneath this wondrous world upon the surface, another and still stranger world met our eyes as we gazed over the side. For, suspended in those watery vaults, floated the forms of the nursing mothers of the whales, and those that by their enormous girth seemed shortly to become mothers. What perspective does each chapter offer
about the whale?
Chapter 68, Ishmael explains whale skin and tries to compare the many layers of skin to how life has many layers.
Chapter 87, explains how not all whales are like Moby Dick. Ishmael concludes that even whales has a soft side. What are the limits to that perspective?
What does it not tell us?
Chapter 68, explains that beneath all the layers there is value. In life you can find the value in something after you peel away all the layers.
Chapter 87, In Captain Ahab's mind he thinks
all whales are evil. In this chapter, it just shows that
some whales are like humans, some are bad but not all. What observation about life, the sublime,
the unknowable, etc. dose the chapter offer us?
Chapter 68, connects how whale skin is thick and layered and after all the layers are peeled away they find the value of oil. In life, when you peel all the layers away you find the inner person.
Chapter 87, the chapter offers us how to not judge a book by its cover. What do you think the layers of
the whale represent? What do you think Ahab's view
is of the Grand Armada whale? Do you think Ahab would change
his view of whales if he looked deep
down and saw the values of the