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Moby Dick Chapter 42 The Whiteness of The Whale 
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Post Moby Dick Chapter 42 The Whiteness of The Whale
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/270 ... m#2HCH0042

CHAPTER 42. The Whiteness of The Whale.
"What the white whale was to Ahab, has been hinted; what, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid. ... whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me."

This chapter is a rather strange metaphysical rumination on the colour white. It is too long, but helps build the atmosphere of trepidation attending on the journey to find the white whale. Light, albatrosses, the 24 elders, everything else that is white, gets a mention.


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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 42 The Whiteness of The Whale
Melville may overplay his hand here. He is unequaled at tracing the intricacies of simple ideas, and here he takes up the phenomenon of things acting against type. There is doubtless a shock, even a horror, to classes of things that betray their outward appearance. I once saw a horror movie about killer rabbits that was effective because of my association of sweetness and innocence with bunnies. White is the color of purity and benevolence. Bad or evil figures in white strike us as perversions. I think this is the case with Moby Dick and the other white creatures Melville names, rather than whiteness being intrinsically the most horrifying color, as Ishmael--always the attorney making his case--would have us think. MD also needs to be distinctive in order to be so impressive to the reader. If all whales were white, surely Melville would have made MD black.



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Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:29 am
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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 42 The Whiteness of The Whale
DWill wrote:
Melville may overplay his hand here.

This is the only chapter that I didn't enjoy and might even say I didn't like.


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