The Daily Dick: Musings on the Greatest Novel Ever
“'All your oaths to hunt the White Whale are as binding as mine; and heart, soul, and body, lungs and life, old Ahab is bound. And that ye may know to what tune this heart beats; look ye here; thus I blow out the last fear!'” And with one blast of his breath he extinguished the flame."
As a result of the typhoon and the plea from Stabuck to Ahab to end the voyage, the other crew members begin to show signs of a possible mutiny. This is Ahab's response to their fear. His holding of the fire is a perfect symbol for Ahab. With his rituals on board, Ahab has bound the men to him and they respond by pledging to continue hunting the white whale.