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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today

From: The Blanket

"Oh, man! admire and model thyself after the whale! Do thou, too, remain warm among ice. Do thou, too, live in this world without being of it. Be cool at the equator; keep thy blood fluid at the Pole [. . .] and like the great whale, retain, O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine own."

Musing: Melville doth preach! After a week of being sickened by the flu and the news-cycle, I turned to the Melvillean scriptures. The Blanket chapter describes the cutting away of the whale's skin, or "blanket." Like all good preachers, Melville also uses the skin as a metaphor for what we see - the visible part of us - whale and human alike. This chapter asks us to be more like the whale. Have thick skin. Stay true to who you are no matter the temperature of the world you swim in. Stay warm. Don't become cold. These were words I needed to hear as I live to swim another day in these rough seas.

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