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  • From The Chase - Third Day

The Daily Dick: Musings on the Greatest Novel Ever

"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"


Musing: Ok, Nick - here it is. Ahab is done. He still has fight in him though. The whale is all-destroying, but has not conquered Ahab. Ahab wants us to be sure to know that. Still, I like the line. One can be destroyed, but not conquered. This, I believe. There is still rage in Ahab. He stabs at Moby-Dick from 'hell's heart' and for hate's sake. The 'h' sounds are like stabs and spits. All is also darkness - turning from the sun, hell, and hate. It is clear that Ahab recognizes that he is tied to the whale. We see he always has been. It is only when spitting hell-fire that Ahab gives up, not himself, but the spear. Ahab chases Moby-Dick to the end. I don't know why this chapter always makes me cry, but it does.

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