At my husband’s suggestion I took a mind-clearing run, showered with my favorite Whale Roadkill body wash, and our little blogging trio set sail to Starbuck‘s for our end-of-book-answer-all-the-questions-celebrate-the-finish gathering.
We settled our stacks into a cozy corner, scoped out the beverage options, and quizzed the barista on the origin of his employer’s name. “Uh, yeah, that was in our training, um . . . ah . . . it’s from that book, right?” Our encouraging nods gave him just the confidence he needed to sheepishly mumble, “Moby-Dick?” We erupted in cheers for the unsuspecting coffee server, grabbed our liquid indulgence, and took our places for an evening of intense discussion.
And intense it was, friends. We packed so much into that hour and a moiety discussion that this wrap-up will take not one post, but three, yes, three posts to give you all the goods on Moby-Dick. And, we’re fairly certain that we’ve just dipped our grande-sized cups into the great sea of MD discussion.
We did not settled on the number three merely for the sake of convenience. No, no, no, You see, three is the key. Check it out:
3 words in the first sentence, “Call me Ishmael.”
3 inns in New Bedford
3 memorials in the Whaleman’s Chapel
3 whaling ships from which to choose
3 year voyage on the Pequod
3 captains – Bildad, Peleg, and Ahab
3 parts to the novel- on shore, whaling dictionary, pursuit of Moby Dick
3 BOOKS of whales in Chapter 32 Cetology
3 chapters on the depiction of whales in art
3 years that Ahab spent on land during his 40 year whaling career
3 counselors for Ahab – Fedallah, Pip, and Starbuck
3 times leg losses – to MD the first time, when it ‘undermines’ him, and on the second day of the chase
3 days they chase the White Whale
all pointing to:
Ahab – the Diabolical Trinity
As he studies the doubloon in Chapter 99 he makes sure we can see it, too,
There’s something ever egotistical in mountain-tops and towers, and all other grand and lofty things; look here, – three peaks as proud as Lucifer. The firm tower, that is Ahab; the volcano, that is Ahab, the courageous, the undaunted, and victorious fowl, that, too, is Ahab; all are Ahab; and this round gold is but the image of the rounder globe, which like a magician’s glass, to each and every man in turn but mirrors back his own mysterious self.
Ahab is quite different than our other questing madman friend, Don Quixote. The captain isn’t errant, he’s evil. And where there is pure evil, there must be pure good. You know who the Good is, right? Not Ishmael, not Pip, not even Starbuck.
Yup. Don’t worry, we’re not done exploring that angle, but for today, please return to the ship with whatever is left of your whale boat, think about what you have learned today, and help us identify more triple occurances. Surely you can give us one or two, or maybe . . .