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  • From The Chase-First Day

The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever

"Dragged into Stubb's boat with blood-shot, blinded eyes, the white brine caking in his wrinkles; the long tension of Ahab's bodily strength did crack, and helplessly he yielded to his body's doom for a time, lying all crushed in the bottom of Stubb's boat, like one trodden under foot of herds of elephants. Far inland, nameless wails came from him, as desolate sounds from out ravines."


Musing: The beautiful character descriptors run consistently throughout the book. Ahab is truly cracked with Melville giving him a scar running from his head to his toes. Ahab's body has also been cracked by pain and his mind cracked from anger and now, finally, he cracks mentally from exhaustion and frustration. Once again, the whale has beat him. Here we see Ahab in defeat - helpless, and crushed, and trodden. There are 'desolate sounds' coming from deep inside his body. But neither heroes nor villains can end in this way. Can they?

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