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  • From The Counterpane

The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever


"At length, by dint of much wriggling, and loud and incessant expostulations upon the unbecomingness of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style, I succeeded in extracting a grunt; and presently, Queequeq drew back his arm, shook himself all over like a Newfoundland dog just from the water, and sat up in bed, stiff as a pike-staff, looking at me, and rubbing his eyes as if he did not altogether remember how I came to be there, though a dim consciousness of knowing something about me seemed slowly dawning over him."

Musing: Ishmael has woken up after sharing a bed with with Queequeq only to find his arm trapped beneath the large cannibal. As a writer, I love the descriptions of Queequeq in this chapter. For the rest of the novel I see Queequeq as that "Newfoundland dog." Many scholars like to make much of the "homoerotic" undertones in Moby Dick, but I like to focus on the love between the two men without further need of definition. I also think the relationship between Ishmael and Queequeq was a pretty brave thing for Melville to write about in the middle of the 1800's.


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