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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today

From: Ahab and Starbuck in the Cabin

"But, mastering his emotion, he [Starbuck] half calmly rose, and as he quitted the cabin, paused for an instant and said: “Thou hast outraged, not insulted me, sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.”

“He waxes brave, but nevertheless obeys; most careful bravery that!” murmured Ahab, as Starbuck disappeared. “What’s that he said—Ahab beware of Ahab—there’s something there!”


Musing: Starbuck. This is Starbuck's chance. I've never understood how Starbuck became the name of a chain coffee place. A hero of what fame no one knows. In this chapter, Starbuck could stop Ahab. Starbuck knows Ahab is only thinking of himself, of revenge, of the white whale. Still, Starbuck bends. And Ahab nails it. "You talk big," he tells Starbuck or Ted Cruz, "but you still obey me."

All those people in Washington knew what -rump was, and obeyed anyway. They have the same blood on their hands that Starbuck has. Cowards.

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