The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever


"The frenzies of the chase had by this time worked them bubblingly up, like old wine worked anew. Whatever pale fears and forebodings some of them might have felt before; these were not only now kept out of sight through the growing awe of Ahab, but they were broken up, and on all sides routed, as timid prairie hares that scatter before the bounding bison. The hand of Fate had snatched all their souls; and by the stirring perils of the previous day; the rack of the past night's suspense; the fixed, unfearing, blind, reckless way in which their wild craft went plunging towards its flying mark; by all these things, their hearts were bowled along. The wind that made great bellies of their sails, and rushed the vessel on by arms invisible as irresistible; this seemed the symbol of that unseen agency which so enslaved them to the race."

Musing: Though some people claim they don't understand the role of fate in Moby-Dick, think about this. Have you never been involved in something where you were carried along almost as if you could not stop yourself from moving forward? I certainly have. A day without sighting the whale has caused the men to grow bored. When the whale is sighted once again, the excitement grows. People love to be involved in an event. The Pequod reflects the men - blind, reckless, without fear. The sheer excitement and magnetism of Ahab draws them in. I am not a follower, but I have followed. Fate is a word hard to pin down, but when I think about it, it defines itself.

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