Moby Dick and the Harpoon
Herman Melville utilizes the image of the harpoon through Queequeg to embody the concept that Queequeg can not function without it because it is a part of him “it has actually been with him for a very long time.” The harpoon is a fundamental part of everyday life for Queequeg; he uses it to shave, sleep with, and even eat. The harpoon is practically a cherished teddy bear to him. In chapter 13, Ishmael concerns Queequeg regarding why he carries such a “frustrating thing with him constantly” (Melville 61).
Ishmael is curious as to why he brings it around when whaling ships have their own harpoons aboard, however he fails to understand the emotional attachment between Queequeg and his harpoon. It has actually been with Queequeg since the time he came by to America on the ship headed for Nantucket. Although he originated from royalty, he would rather be a harpooner. Similar to a person in containment who wishes to go out and be complimentary, Queequeg feels the same. He does not like the pressure put on him to be the next king, so he strives to avoid that task in any way that he can think of.
Queequeg had been made into a harpooner from the ship he required himself onto. He even declares “that barbed iron is in lieu of a scepter now” (Melville 60). This passage is a symbolic representation of how Queequeg would rather live his life as a harpooner than as a king. He practically gives up his throne-to-be to end up being a traveler. The harpoon is so personal to Queequeg because he has no other way to satisfy his desired way of life without it. Queequeg ultimately would end up being a lost cause without his harpoon due to the fact that it implies a lot to him.
Throughout Ahab’s effort to stir the spirits of his team, Melville reveals through Ahab that harpoons are certainly a part of their owner, and they can be utilized as tools of damage or celebration. In this scene, Ahab utilizes his “people abilities” to delight the team and inspire them to continue going after Moby Penis. Beginning his festivity off with some “brimming pewter,” Ahab sobs for his crew to “produce their weapons and to consume and be merry” (Melville 141). Ahab desires a method to link personally to his team, so by producing their weapons, he wants them to understand that they all share a quest together “to kill Moby Cock.
The weapons of the males are a sense of pride to each, and Ahab wants them to understand that he recognizes that connection. Calling the 3 harpooners aside, Ahab reveals to them that they are the most “respectable gentlemen and noblemen in order to break their outer exterior and connect with them emotionally (Melville 142). He requests that they “cut [their] seizings and draw the poles to have a special event of their own (Melville 142). Without their poles connected to their harpoons, the steel tip is entrusted to a hole at the base. Ahab’s objective in this process is to have the tips of the harpoons be cups for the alcohol.
He uses this to offer the harpooners a personal time to connect themselves not only to the chase of Moby Penis, however likewise to their weapons. Melville uses the image of the harpoon throughout the forging process to show that the harpoon itself is a tool utilized for individual revenge and destruction for Ahab. Ahab is dead-set upon getting revenge on his sworn opponent of the sea, Moby Dick. Having Moby tear off his leg reduces Ahab to reside in a bitter life of pity and to boil with rage. Ahab, in his futile attempt to redeem himself, ends up being virtually taken over by his fixation to eliminate Moby.
He becomes a savage in an attempt to create a weapon of pure vengeance. He calls over his harpooners to help him with the final creating of his harpoon. He requests that they “offer as much blood that can “cover this barb of his harpoon (Melville 371). Instead of utilizing a traditional approach of cooling the metal off with water, Ahab exceeds and beyond by attempting to infuse the blood of the whale-killers upon his ship into a single weapon. This harpoon, created out of the pure hatred and sworn revenge of Ahab, is Ahab’s way of putting his foot down and saying he indicates company to Moby.
Ahab takes a drastic leap forward and baptizes his weapon in Latin in the name of Satan. He essentially invites the devil in to make himself at home as long as Moby is killed. In conclusion, the harpoon as an entire impacts the owner by playing a number of functions. It serves to them as a suggestion of the past and help them to aim onwards. Like in Queequeg’s case, the harpoon can be utilized to connect itself to its owner throughout times of pursuit and leisure, and can also take the role of the supreme sign of hatred and vengeance through Ahab’s mission in Melville’s book.