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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musing in a Time of Angst

The Doubloon:

"And some certain significance lurks in all things, else all things are little worth, and the round world itself but an empty cipher"



In this chapter, Ahab is wandering the deck, as he often does, when he stops to look at the doubloon. Ahab looks at the coin as if trying to find meaning in its etchings, color, style. Melville tells us that Ahab stands in front of the coin “strangely eyeing” it as he does with most objects.

Ahab, we are led to believe, tries to find meaning in everything. Hence his constantly being called monomaniacal.

Writers do that. Try to find meaning in everything. I do that when I read Moby-Dick. I do that when I write.

I would have to tell you, if asked, that there is meaning in most everything if we'd only look.

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