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  • From The Chart

The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever

"And here, his mad mind would run on in a breathless race; till a weariness and faintness of pondering came over him! and in the open air of the deck he would seek to recover his strength. Ah, God! what trances of torments does that man endure who is consumed with one unachieved revengeful desire. He sleeps with clenched hands; and wakes with his own bloody nails in his palms."


Musing: The Chart is a dark chapter! In this scene, Ahab is shown pouring over maps and charts trying to find one white whale in the seemingly infinite waters of our world. Melville, through Ishmael, describes how the torment of fixation can consume a person. The description of the tormented Ahab is rich and the phrase 'trances of torment' is exquisite! There is so much in Moby Dick that deals with the subconscious and how it tortures our consciousness.

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