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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musing in a Time of Angst

From: The Quarter-Deck

"Speak, but speak!—Aye, aye! thy silence, then, that voices thee. "



In this chapter, Ahab tells his crew they are hunting for Moby-Dick to avenge the loss of his leg. Starbuck, ever sensible, says the whale didn’t look to punish Ahab; he was simply acting as a whale – an animal. Ahab tells Starbuck that what he feels about being dismembered is what he sees in the white whale. Ahab gives Starbuck an opportunity to refute him, but Starbuck stays silent. Ahab says silence is an answer.

In the aftermath of the reign of terror we call the last presidential term, I understand this passage even more. Silence speaks for us. Especially when we know we should speak out.

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