The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever
"There is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid,—what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvelous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!"
Musing: Ishamel is musing on how he goes to sea as a sailor and not a passenger. Throughout the novel, Melville is quick to point out the flaws in "good" Christian thinking. Here is one of those moments. If it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven, why do we work so hard for money? Many of the themes reveal themselves in the first chapter and this is a theme we will hear over and over again.