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  • from A Bosom Friend

The Daily Dick: A Study in Leadership

"His [Queequeg's] countenance yet had a something in it which was by no means disagreeable. You cannot hide the soul. Through all his unearthly tattooings, I thought I saw the traces of a simple honest heart; and in his large, deep eyes, fiery black and bold, there seemed tokens of a spirit that would dare a thousand devils."


Study: Melville admires certain people and sets them up as leaders in the book. Queequeg is one of those men who is most admired. Some leadership skills are evident - kindness and compassion and lack of prejudice - but some are a feeling about the person, so to speak. Melville, through Ishmael, makes judgement on characters based on how a person sits and regards the world. The people admired are not weak - Queequeg has eyes that would "dare a thousand devils," but they are honest. You can see into the soul, Melville tells us. With our current leaders, I am all too afraid that is true.

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