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CHAPTER 13: WHEELBARROW
Ishmael and Queequeg take their goods by wheelbarrow to the packet schooner that will take them to Nantucket. Once aboard, Ishmael feels excitement at being back at sea. When two bumpkins from rural New England rudely make fun of Queequeg, he becomes so annoyed that he somersaults one of them high into the air. While the captain is warning the harpooner not to pull any further stunts, the ship's wooden boom sweeps the rude passenger into the sea. Having already proved his strength, Queequeg now proves his tolerance and bravery by rescuing the man.
CHAPTER 14: NANTUCKET
Ishmael begins to describe Nantucket, the island that was whaling's first American home. Living on land bare of trees, grass, even of weeds, inhabitants from Indian days to Ishmael's had turned to the sea for a livelihood. Other empires may expand on land; Nantucket owns the waves.
NOTE: WHALING AND AMERICAN EXPANSION
Here you can see Melville linking whaling with other examples of America's rapid growth. On land, the frontier is being pushed rapidly westward-the United States has just annexed Texas. And thanks to Nantucket whalemen, the nation's power is growing at sea as well.
CHAPTER 15: CHOWDER
Ishmael and Queequeg find a room at the Try Pots, "fishiest of all fishy places," where the innkeeper serves chowder for breakfast, chowder for dinner, chowder for supper, and where even the milk tastes of fish. Queequeg wants to sleep with his harpoon, but the landlady won't let him. She remembers how one young whaleman, disappointed in his hopes for a profitable voyage, killed himself with a harpoon. This is another reminder that the perils of whaling can take many forms.Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version