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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Day 43: Musings From a Sixth Reading of the Great Book

Chapter 39: First Night Watch

“(Stubb solus, and mending a brace.)

Ha! ha! ha! ha! hem! clear my throat!—I’ve been thinking over it ever since, and that ha, ha’s the final consequence. Why so? Because a laugh’s the wisest, easiest answer to all that’s queer; and come what will, one comfort’s always left—that unfailing comfort is, it’s all predestinated. I heard not all his talk with Starbuck; but to my poor eye Starbuck then looked something as I the other evening felt. [ . . . ] I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” 




Okay, so we’ve had soliloquy’s from Ahab and Starbuck and now it’s Stubb’s turn.

Stubb is still stewing over his kick from Ahab, but now he’s decided to laugh it off. And what Stubb says makes sense. When you can’t understand a thing, best to just laugh it off. Stubb has a reason for his way of thinking though. The world is predestined anyway, so how will worrying about things change anything if everything is unchangeable?

Stubb also says he overheard Ahab and Starbuck talking and he knows that Starbuck was kicked by Ahab as well. Maybe not physically, as was Stubb, but in the gut anyway.

You can tell this bothers Stubb. He’s been fretting about Ahab, noticing Starbuck’s woes, and thinking, which Stubb doesn’t seem to like much. But like a trooper, Stubb says he will stop trying to control the future and take things as they come by laughing all the way to the end.

One more person has given up on trying to stop Ahab.


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