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Moby Dick Chapter 24 The Advocate 
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Post Moby Dick Chapter 24 The Advocate
Link http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/270 ... m#2HCH0024

Quote:
this business of whaling has somehow come to be regarded among landsmen as a rather unpoetical and disreputable pursuit; therefore, I am all anxiety to convince ye, ye landsmen, of the injustice hereby done to us hunters of whales.


A butcher has lower social status than a doctor, but Melville points out that soldiers are butchers with higher status than whalers, and also there is money in it.

Melville's advocacy of whale hunting as a force for world peace, discovery and democracy is at least based on historical fact.

And I cannot fail to include this intriguing comment.

Quote:
That great America on the other side of the sphere, Australia, was given to the enlightened world by the whaleman. After its first blunder-born discovery by a Dutchman, all other ships long shunned those shores as pestiferously barbarous; but the whale-ship touched there. The whale-ship is the true mother of that now mighty colony. Moreover, in the infancy of the first Australian settlement, the emigrants were several times saved from starvation by the benevolent biscuit of the whale-ship luckily dropping an anchor in their waters.


In Melville's day it was still hoped that the Australian desert would prove a new Eden, despite his mention of our "shores as pestiferously barbarous". Dampier landed in the west in 1699 and was partly responsible for the pestiferous image.

In declaring himself "ready to shiver fifty lances" with any who question the nobility of whaling, Melville pays homage to another great chronicler, Cervantes.

Recalling all the literary mentions of the dignity and grandeur of whaling, Melville concludes that "a whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard."


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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 24 The Advocate
I agree Melville lectures rather too much sometimes. But did he ever go whaling? I get confused between Melville and Ismaela. He consistently talks of ‘we whalemen’ but Ismaela has never been whaling before. ‘…for a whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard’.


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