Welcome to Moby Dick Monday! This is where we read four pages a day and then post about what we’ve read. Consider it an adventure of sorts!
My Story Re-Cap:
A lot took place in this week’s reading but it’s hard to summarize. Melville takes it upon himself to educate us a bit. We learn all about a “Gam” which is basically:
A social visit or friendly interchange, especially between whalers or seafarers.
The description of such a visit, confirms to me that whalers are a peculiar sort. Melville talks a bit about how it’s done, how the Captains sort of hang back and allow the crew to mingle a bit, yet that they each stay loyal and firmly rooted to their own ship. The mention of this, leads me to believe that although whalers can be social creatures, they tend to be a cautious group when it comes to strangers. Probably a good thing.
The next chapter (54) happens to be the longest chapter I’ve read so far. It was the longest, and the most tedious to read. Chapter 54 discusses in great length the Town Ho’ story. The Town Ho was a homeward-bound Nantucket whale ship. Radney, the mate, ordered a fellow by the name of Steelkilt to swab the deck. This proved to be a great insult to Steelkilt as a pig had run loose and he felt it beneath him to be ordered to do such a menial task. Steelkilt, feeling bold, refused to do it and Radney hauled off and hit him with a hammer! A fight ensued.
Steelkilt rallies some of the other men and takes over the deck. Refusing the Captain’s orders to get to work he expects a flogging, so he and the other men lock themselves down below. His plans change when a couple of the men tie him up and turn him over to the Captain. He gets his flogging from Radney, of all people so he decides to murder Radney. This is a secret that he keeps to himself, but in the end he is distracted by the appearance of Moby Dick himself and in a moment of fierceness, Moby Dick grabs Radney and takes him to his death.
The last chapter (55) discusses the monstrous depictions of whales. Although interesting, it would have been much more so had the chapter included photos.
My Rambling Thoughts:
The story of the Town-Ho was very entertaining, but so, so long! I had a really hard time getting through it. It required all of my attention and with the kids running about, I found it impossible to concentrate so I resorted to an audio re-telling, to get it firmly planted in my brain. I find with this book, that you use all manners of tools to get you through it. Be it audio, or visual.
For the others reading along with me, do you have a hard time following along with the story? Have you had to resort to other formats to help you through the reading?
Reading Along With Me:
For those that are participating, share your post links in comments. What do you think so far? Oh, and if anyone wants to join us just leave me a message below.