27 Mar

There have been several instances of Melville foreshadowing bleak things to come in this whaling voyage…to name just a couple, how about the proprietor’s name at the Spouter-Inn, or the gallows at the Try Pots, but, really, Melville, did you have to be quite so precise as the end of the second-to-last paragraph in Chapter XIII?  Sort of takes the fun out of it.


Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Moby-Dick


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9 responses to “Foreshadowing

  1. Christina Joy

    March 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I know!! The words, “Oh no!” were scribbled in my margin before I even realized what I was doing, then I quickly complained to Jerry about it. Our dialog went like this:
    Me: I can’t believe Melville told us Queequeg was going to die!
    Jerry: Christina, you know how this book ends, right?
    Me: Well yeah, but I like to hold out hope.
    Jerry: Everyone dies but Ishmael.
    Me: Shush. I even thought maybe Rue wouldn’t die this time when I reread Hunger Games.
    Jerry: Did she?
    Me: Never mind. Still, it was unnecessary for him to mention Queegeg’s last long dive.

  2. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    March 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Melville must have thought foreshadowing was really cool. He uses it in almost every single chapter. I mean there is absolutely no hope for the crew of the Pequod. Zilch. Nada.

    Oh, and alliteration. At first I thought it was lovely. Now it’s starting to strike me as humorous when it occurs. I’m just reading along when suddenly I’m surrounded by swarms of S’s on every side.

  3. Jeannette

    March 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, and poor little Pip (isn’t that his name?). I think Melville has foreshadowed his demise at least three times. And yes, Adriana, I’ve noticed the (almost) ridiculous use of alliteration. Clever, but almost annoying.

    • Christine

      March 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Where have I been with the alliteration? Maybe I’m searching so hard for plot I’m missing it? I shall read more carefully today.

      • Christina Joy

        March 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

        I’m worried too. But then again I think I’m WAAAAAY behind, so maybe I haven’t had a chance to drown in S’s yet. If you read them sideways though, I bet they look like waves. I’ll give him points for aesthetics.

  4. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    March 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    S’s and W’s

  5. Jeannette

    March 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    “…when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver; and, by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed a silvery silence, not a solitude; on such a silent night a silvery jet was seen…

    You weren’t kidding, Adriana!

  6. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    April 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Still thinking about all the foreshadowing. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel with so much of it. Perhaps he wanted to drive the point home: Perhaps it changes the way I view the characters. How could I ever forgive Stubb for leaving Pip?
    Just tossing this idea around. Guess I am starting to process the novel through the “stage two” lens. Any thoughts?

    • Jeannette

      April 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      Great questions, Adriana. Why would he want to drive that point home, I wonder? He certainly does – over and over and over. Awareness of our own (and their) mortality? Guess I’m full of questions as well….


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