Chapter One Hundred and Six: Ahab's Leg: Ahab sometimes did suffer because of his ivory leg, once falling to the ground when the leg gave out. He must share the bed with a man who originally terrifies him, due to his dark skin, rough mien and tattoos, but they become best friends as the book progresses. Analysis: This short chapter exists simply to place the voyage of the Pequod in perspective: from its departure from Nantucket, the ship has traveled around the world, yet Ahab remains locked in the same psychological state as before and, in contrast with Ishmael, he cannot enjoy the changes or pleasure in the journey. Moby Dick then rams the Pequod itself, which is heavily damaged. Analysis: Ahab faces an explicit choice in this chapter between life and death and, in choosing to pursue Moby Dick, easily makes the obvious choice of death. They are stopped by the owners of the ship who are not pleased to have a cannibal aboard.
The ship is under the command of Captain Ahab, a strict disciplinarian who exhorts his men to find Moby Dick, the great white whale. The vast, ivory-ribbed chest of the whale resembles the hull of a great ship. Ahab finally sights Moby Dick. Analysis: The skeptics on the Bachelor confirm the status of Moby Dick as a mythic figure. As he tries to ease his way out from under Queequeg he finds himself also cuddled up with the tomahawk.
More of his men are killed, On the third day, Ahab realizes the whale is now chasing him. He kills almost every fisherman who goes against him. Ahab wants to be the one to end the whale, but, the whale ends him. The pastor, Father Mapple Orson Welles gives a sermon based on the story of Jonah and how after his earnest prayer he was saved from the great whale. Even though the owners are Quakers, they are conniving cheapskates. When they arrive in Nantucket, Ishmael marvels at how powerful it is. Ahab nails a gold doubloon to the mast and declares that it will be the prize for the first man to sight the whale.
He is on a vengeful hunt for a huge white whale called Moby Dick. In fact, the carpenter may be the only character in Moby Dick who stands on an equal footing with Ahab, able to criticize him and counter his complaints without having to humor the captain or behave diplomatically toward him, as must do. Queequeg saves Tashtego by diving into the ocean and cutting into the slowly sinking head. Eventually a day comes when Ishmael is given the opportunity to be the lookout from the top of the main mast. Ahab ignores Starbucks pleas one more time, and continues with his ill fated chase. The ship is attacked by Moby Dick causing a vortex when it sinks, pulling all the surrounding boats and men into the ocean to their deaths.
Since Ishmael isn't familiar with the whole sailor gig, he isn't quite sure what to make of not seeing the captain, so when Captain Ahab does show up, Ishmael is pretty pumped. They all seem to have different feelings about what Ishmael feels is the nobility of the profession. Moby Dick is seen at last. Even though Captain Ahab believes that it is the whale that is evil, he is willing to sacrifice the lives of others in his own vengeance. The synopsis below may give away important plot points. Moby Dick, the whale, not the novel, is quite literally the biggest symbol in the story.
As a result of the encounter, one of its boats is missing. The Pequod encounters the whaling ship, Rachel. Compounded with the imagery of Queequeg in this coffin, this elaborates on a persistent theme of the novel, the idea of the ship's voyage as a transitory state between life and death. It was a failure and out of print at the time of his death 40 years later. The duo signs on with the Pequod, a whaling ship that is soon to leave port.
And while the story is a rather serious piece about evil and revenge, it's full of vulgar sex jokes that would make even the raunchiest of readers blush. Big and strong, he commands awe from most people when he passes. This time Ahab almost loses. Ishmael spends time in the story recounting the preparation of whale meat. There are repeated flashes of lightning that seem to lead Ahab to Moby Dick. Ishmael screams for the innkeeper, who explains the situation to Queequeg and calms him down. A crewman aboard their ship called, Gabriel, who calls himself a prophet, warns Ahab to cease his hunt for the whale.
In turn, the whole crew, including Ishmael, swears to hunt down Moby Dick to avenge the missing leg. In consideration of the religious parallels that pervade the novel, one may consider the captain of the Bachelor as not only a skeptic but as an atheist, denying the existence of God and by extension, Satan. However, things are not what they seem, because when the head of the boat, Captain Ahab, make his first appearance, there is something troubling about him. One of the boats might be towed downwards into the deep, so the rope is cut. Ahab has secretly brought along his own boat crew, led by an ancient Asian named Fedallah, an inscrutable figure with an odd influence over Ahab.