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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musing in a Time of Angst

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

From The Quarter-Deck

“Soon his steady, ivory stride was heard, as to and fro he paced his old rounds, upon planks so familiar to his tread, that they were all over dented, like geological stones, with the peculiar mark of his walk. Did you fixedly gaze, too, upon that ribbed and dented brow; there also, you would see still stranger foot-prints—the foot-prints of his one unsleeping, ever-pacing thought.”



In reading Moby-Dick this time around, I find I am obsessed by the descriptions of Ahab. What an amazing parallel – the planks of the ship dented like the furrow of his brow. But while the treads on the deck were dented by the ivory leg of Ahab, his forehead bore the mark of Ahab’s “one unsleeping, ever-pacing thought.” And so we know. Ahab has more than whaling on his mind.

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