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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musing in a Time of Angst

From: All Astir

“But when a man suspects any wrong, it sometimes happens that if he be already involved in the matter, he insensibly strives to cover up his suspicions even from himself. And much this way it was with me. I said nothing, and tried to think nothing.”


Musing: The thing Melville does well is reach down into the belly of humankind and spill its secrets. In this chapter, Ishmael is wondering how smart it was to sign on to sail with the Pequod without ever meeting Captain Ahab. But Ishmael wanted to sail so badly, he ignored his gut instinct to wait to meet the captain and now he is having second thoughts. Who among us hasn’t seen an injustice or witnessed a small theft or suspected a lie and turned our heads or went along with the secret? And when that happens, don’t we try to justify our actions or inactions?

When I read this passage, I think of politicians as well. All of those _Rumpers, covering up, saying nothing, thinking even less.

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