The Daily Dick: Musings on the Greatest Novel Ever
"I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don’t believe it also. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him."
Musing: It is easy to forget that Ishmael has a voice. In the dramatic frenzy of Moby Dick, Ishmael sometimes takes a lesser role, though he is the narrator, the only survivor, the keeper of the story. The quote above is from a time when Queequeq participates in his own form of Ramadan. Ishamel is musing on the place of religion in the world and, in truth, I love Ishmael in these moments. He tosses a bit of humor into his healthy dose of truth-telling. And the idea of the earth as an inn we all lodge in touches me.