The Daily Dick: Musings on the Greatest Novel Ever
"Meantime, for that one beholding instant, Tashtego's mast-head hammer remained suspended in his hand; and the red flag, half-wrapping him as with a plaid, then streamed itself straight out from him, as his own forward-flowing heart; while Starbuck and Stubb, standing upon the bowsprit beneath, caught sight of the down-coming monster just as soon as he."
Musing: So much to think about here at the end. I have not spent a lot of time studying the role of Tashtego in Moby Dick, but he certainly represents Native Americans and their role in the American economy. That Melville has Tashtego at the top of the mast at the end of the book is meaningful. There Tashtego stands, with a red flag (blood/passion), and a hammer. Where Ahab nailed a gold doubloon to the mast, Tashtego nails a blood-red flag. Interesting that Tashtego sees Moby Dick heading his way at the same instant Starbuck and Stubb do. A new American trinity, perhaps? A vision that we all saw it coming - the end - together? I think I'll give this book another read with an eye on Tashtego next!