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  • From The Chase - Third Day

The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever

"Heart of wrought steel!" murmured Starbuck gazing over the side, and following with his eyes the receding boat- "canst thou yet ring boldly to that sight?-lowering thy keel among ravening sharks, and followed by them, open-mouthed to the chase; and this the critical third day?-For when three days flow together in one continuous intense pursuit; be sure the first is the morning, the second the noon, and the third the evening and the end of that thing-be that end what it may."


Musing: Starbuck watches as Ahab takes off in a whale boat in search of Moby-Dick. The three's appear again. I can picture Starbuck, leaning over the side of the Pequod, watching Ahab leave for the final time. Critics often say that Ahab is representative of the "industrial" or "iron" man and they point to Starbuck's 'heart of wrought steel' as evidence. I don't see that here at all. I hear admiration in the comment and sadness and a goodbye. Starbuck recognizes that this is Ahab's finale. The threes come together in the morning, noon, and evening line as well. I think I actually like Starbuck this go-round.

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