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Topic: Moby Dick LXII, Killing Points< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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David Yeagley Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2008,15:20  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Chapter LXII  The Dart

This is a chapter devoted to the special roles of the boat headman and the harpooner.  First point, the harpooner is an additional[i] role.  In other words, he is first a rower, with the rest.  The harpooning is an [i]added reponsibility.  This is interesting.  The killer is a rower, first, sharing the burden with everyone else.  

Plus, he is a yeller.  A hollerer.  He shouts out the commands.  This is also additional to the basic responsibility of rowing in the chase.  

Melville (Ishamel) says not five out of fifty harpoonings are successful.   There just isn't enough strength for the man usually to follow through with heaving the iron, after such exhausting work up to that point.  

This short little chapter is Melville's commentary on the inefficiency of the operation, due to mismanagement of labor.  The tradition was crippled, and needed to change.

Remember, Moby Dick was published in 1851.  Industry was the new wave of social reality.  Factory, production, labor intensive.  A different way of producing goods, and new challenges to efficiency in the process.
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SheDesigns Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2008,21:33 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE



I saw John Huston's 1956 Moby Dick with Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab. It was very powerful.

But, it was also limited, because the film focused purely on the events on the ship. All these ruminations by Ishmael on botany, folk art, the color white (and black) as defined by scientific observations, etc. are missing.

But, I strongly recommend both - the film and the book.
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David Yeagley Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2008,21:59 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, Gregory Peck's rendition is the convincing one.  Just weird enough.  

America was young then, like a adolescent.  Reaching out, exploring the world.  Race, religion, nationality were all so very fascinating.  

The genious to use a whaling story as the "spine" on which to hang all manner of international, omniscient musings is truly unique.  Meville scored a big one.   Other American writers of the period address these things too, but never with such a grand context as the profession of world sailing whalers, and their inevitable "multiculturalism" on the high seas!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 26 2009,22:47 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Is there more to Moby Dick?  Great conversations.

Betty Ann


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[B]Big Words Often Hide Small Ideas..(fortune cookie)
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