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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Day 6: Musings from a Sixth Reading of the Great Book

Updated: Jan 31

Chapter 1: Day 6: Loomings

“But as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it – would they let me – since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in.”


Musings: Ishmael was a bit bossy at the start of Moby-Dick as he told me what to call him, where to go, what to see, how to feel. Now he is becoming philosophical. He tells us why he wants to go on a whaling boat. For the adventure. For the joy of doing something different. And surely, we all get that.

What is new is this idea that Ishmael can see things (on barbarous coasts) that others would see as horrific, and still be cool with them. In an America where people were expected to behave in certain ways, Ishmael contends that even if he sees behavior we might consider ‘a horror,’ he’s good with it.

I love this side of Ishmael and this theme that Melville will develop throughout the book.

Ishmael goes on to say it is best to look upon people and things that are different and embrace the differences, because we should all live together on this earth as friends.

Come on. Who wouldn’t love this book?!

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