The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today
"Ignorance is the parent of fear."
Ishmael needs a place to sleep before he looks for a whaling ship he can join as a crew member. At The Spouter-Inn, Ishmael is given two choices for lodging: On a bench by the window, where it is freezing cold and the wood plank has a sizeable knot in it, or in a shared bed with a cannibal who happens to be running around town trying to sell shrunken heads. Ishmael is afraid, but he picks the cannibal and thus begins the greatest love story in literature. Moby-Dick, in large part, is a love story. It is a story about acceptance, and conquering prejudice, and embracing the soul of a friend. Today, more than ever, this line from Moby-Dick bears repeating: "Ignorance is the parent of fear."