Skip to comments.Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, 1851, and how a Hawaiian Missionary saved an American sailor from cannibals
Posted on 08/02/2020 6:32:31 PM PDT by Perseverando
"There she blows!" cried the lookout, sighting the great white whale, Moby Dick.
The classic book, Moby Dick, was written by New England author Herman Melville, published in 1851.
In the novel, Captain Ahab, driven by revenge, sailed the seas to capture this great white whale who had bitten off his leg in a previous encounter.
The crew of Captain Ahab's ship, the Pequod, included:
Ishmael, the teller of the tale, which begins the line: "Call me Ishmael"-the name of Abraham's son who was sent away;
Chief Mate Starbuck, a Quaker from Nantucket, for whom the Seattle-based coffee franchise took its name;
Second Mate Stubb;
Harpooneer Tashtego, a native American of the Wampanoag Tribe; and
Harpooneer Queequeg, a tattooed Polynesian from a mysterious cannibal island in the South Pacific.
"Tattoo" originated from "tatau" or "tatu," which were body markings originally associated with natives, aborigines, cannibals and headhunters of Southeast Asian islands, such as:
Polynesia, Micronesia, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, New Zealand, New Guinea, Malagasy, and the Marquesas Islands.
"Tattoo" was first mentioned by naturalist Joseph Banks, who accompanied Captain James Cook on the ship HMS Endeavour as he explored the Pacific, 1768-1771:
"I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humour or disposition."
Sailors brought tattoos to port cities around the world, where, for a century, they were associated with salty sailors, rough working men, slaves, convicts, and circus sideshows.
In the 1956 film Moby Dick, actor Gregory Peck played Captain Ahab.
Ahab finally caught up with Moby Dick in the Pacific
(Excerpt) Read more at myemail.constantcontact.com ...
Yes, a good one too.
OUTSTANDING novel. Great movie. Gregory Peck was awesome. Interesting reference...
Many people completely misread this book.
It is not a book about a sea captain seeking revenge against the whale who dismembered him.
It is about an erudite, depressed and rootless school teacher with a wry sense of humor who encounters a number of extraordinary people and situations. One of those encounters is with a sea captain seeking revenge against a whale who dismembered him.
Melville was Fellini way before Fellini.
originally Charlton Heston was asked to play Ahab in the movie. He turned the roll down. Later in life, Heston said that was the worst mistake he made as an actor.
Gregory Peck took the role.
I recall seeing the movie at the drive in with mom and dad... Most memorable, for some reason, was Stubb, in his knit sweater and Scottish hat, holding a mug of beer and forcing Ishmael to agree to the blasphemy of “We own the seas” before he would allow Ishmael to sail with them.
I didn’t really get it though, I was just a kid...
Also I recall being sad when Ahab’s black cabin boy from Alabama was killed... He didn’t hurt anyone...
And the crazy old Scottish dude running the sign up office... “DO YE MAKE SPORT O’ ME, LAD?!!!”
Also the dudes raising rigging, singing a rhythmic chant that directed their pulls on the ropes... Those guys had to have been re-enactors from New England that had been brought in just for authenticity... There were about six, and the boss/lead singer had an eye patch. These days they might be on YouTube.
But especially the part with Stubb... I’d forgotten his name, of course, but there was something up with that guy... Maybe I picked up a vibe from my mom or something...
A great novel and movie, oddly the USA TV version blew me
Melville got the ending for Moby Dick from the sinking of the whale ship Essex in 1822. She was rammed twice by a big sperm whale bull, and sank. Melville got a copy of the book written by Owen Chase, 1st mate on Essex, from Chases’ son.
I just watched the 2010 Moby Dick. Waste of time.
If you ever read about the
Essex, it was horrifying and true.
The whale hunting scenes were filmed near the Azore Islands. The islanders still hunted whale with hand thrown harpoons in open boats.
Yes, Ishmael was the main protagonist of the story and a witness to Ahab’s vengeance and blasphemy, which was shared by the entire crew and was actually explained by Starbuck in one scene, also by Stubb who forced Ishmael to share in it as a condition of sailing with them.
I just thought it sucked that the cabin boy got killed too... I forget his name... I was about his age when I saw the movie.
there were two books written by survivors, Owen Chase (1st mate) wrote “Wreck of the Whale Ship Essex shortly after he returned to New Bedford. The second book is called “In the Heart of the Sea” and was written by Nathanial Philbrick. It is based on an unpublished manuscript written by Thomas Nickerson, the 14 year old cabin boy on Essex. He was in the same boat with Chase.
I read the second book and it was horrifying.
iron men in wooden boats, facing a desperate situation.
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