The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today
"What’s all this fuss I have been making about, thought I to myself—the man’s a human being just as I am: he has just as much reason to fear me, as I have to be afraid of him. Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."
Such a delightful passage, really. In many ways, this is the heart of Moby-Dick. The 'love' story between Ishmael and Queequeq is too often interpreted as something romantic or sexual. I believe the true message is simply acknowledging the love between human beings. Melville spends several chapters detailing Queequeg's appearance. Queequeg is dark and tattooed and different from Ishmael. The passage above is the important 'lesson' Ishmael learns. We are all human. We tend to fear what we do not recognize in each other. But we should respect and learn and love. That's what I see anyway. That's what I hope for us all.