John and Phil,
Thanks for your rejoinder.
Phil your insight seems right on. What a subdued Ishmael in the whale
boat after all his posturing and philosophizing. This suggests to me quite
a gap between Ishmael the sailor and the narrator.
John are you putting me on as I do not understand your reply. I know you
know Ishmael was not a harpooner.
But then you limit Ahab’s dialogs to the mates and Pip. In the past you
have often referred to chapter 36 The Quarter-Deck where Ahab directly
confronts the harpooners by name when he has them drink the scarement from
their harpoon iron sockets. So why now do propose “If the rare event
happened, the sea captain would hardly know the harpooner's name.”
"Moby Dick?" shouted Ahab. "Do ye know the white whale then, Tash?" MD
There are other examples where Ahab knows his crew men and interacts with
them but until Phil’s observation I never saw him interacting with Ishmael
the sailor. This distinction. given Ishmael’s insights into Ahab, is one
of the significant and unique aspects of the book.
Forgive me if I missed the humor and the jokes on me.