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Moby Dick CHAPTER 72. The Monkey-Rope 
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Post Moby Dick CHAPTER 72. The Monkey-Rope
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/270 ... m#2HCH0072

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I'm pressing on with Moby Dick, sorry to be slow, but there is plenty more. I am planning to also get into some of the symbolism, for example the whale as allegory for the virginal nature of the untamed lands of the USA.

But sticking with this chapter, we have one of the most dangerous imaginable practices here.

Quote:
upon first breaking ground in the whale's back, the blubber-hook was inserted into the original hole there cut by the spades of the mates. But how did so clumsy and weighty a mass as that same hook get fixed in that hole? It was inserted there by my particular friend Queequeg, whose duty it was, as harpooneer, to descend upon the monster's back for the special purpose referred to. ... the poor harpooneer flounders about, half on the whale and half in the water, as the vast mass revolves like a tread-mill beneath him.


So, in the roiling boiling sea, beset by waves and sharks, the only protection offered for this quaintly termed "humorously perilous business" is the eponymous Monkey Rope, which Ishmael holds on deck to prevent Queequeg falling in among the pearly friends of Mack the Knife. Remarkably, Melville has occasion to speak of metaphysics in this awkward spot, with Ishmael and Queequeg joined like Siamese Twins in a joint stock merger, perhaps like the temporal and eternal substances merged in the one person of Jesus Christ.

Quote:
I would often jerk poor Queequeg from between the whale and the ship—where he would occasionally fall, from the incessant rolling and swaying of both. But this was not the only jamming jeopardy he was exposed to. Unappalled by the massacre made upon them during the night, the sharks now freshly and more keenly allured by the before pent blood which began to flow from the carcass—the rabid creatures swarmed round it like bees in a beehive. And right in among those sharks was Queequeg; who often pushed them aside with his floundering feet. A thing altogether incredible were it not that attracted by such prey as a dead whale, the otherwise miscellaneously carnivorous shark will seldom touch a man. Nevertheless, it may well be believed that since they have such a ravenous finger in the pie, it is deemed but wise to look sharp to them.


A touch of inshallah
Quote:
what between sharks and spades you are in a sad pickle and peril, poor lad


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Post Re: Moby Dick CHAPTER 72. The Monkey-Rope
Not to be salacious (well, maybe a little), did you note the passage where Ishmael comments on the fetching, kilt-like outfit worn by Queequeg? Kind of makes one wonder about those early chapters where they did their bonding.
Quote:
On the occasion in question, Queequeg figured in the Highland costume- a shirt and socks- in which to my eyes, at least, he appeared to uncommon advantage; and no one had a better chance to observe him, as will presently be seen.



Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:44 pm
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