The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today


"All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life."

The Line is a seemingly simple chapter about, well, rope. The hemp line runs from the boat to the harpoon, which then hits the whale. Many a sailor has met his death getting caught in the line. This chapter lulls me into a calm stupor as it describes types of ropes and makers of lines etc. Then the zinger - we are all born with death already wound around our neck. Only when that line is pulled taut do we realize it is always there. Having a healthy fear of death myself, this passage serves to remind me, somehow, to live better than I do. Whenever people ask me why I love this book, I rarely mention things like this, but passages like this are exactly why I love this book. Live well!

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