Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The 1st crew members of the Pequod

Only note-taking for now. 
- Ahab: 
+ Captain. 
+ "He looked like a man cut away from the stake, when the fire has overrunningly wasted all the limbs without consuming them, or taking away one particle from their compacted aged robustness." 
+ "His whole high, broad form, seemed made of solid bronze". 
+ Has "a slender rod-like mark, lividly whitish" that "resembled that perpendicular seam sometimes made in the straight, lofty trunk of a great tree, when the upper lightning tearingly darts down it, and without wrenching a single twig, peels and grooves out the bark from top to bottom, ere running off into the soil, leaving the tree still greenly alive, but branded". 
+ Lost his leg; has an ivory leg "fashioned from the polished bone of the sperm whale's jaw". 
+ "Captain Ahab stood erect, looking straight out beyond the ship's ever-pitching prow. There was an infinity of firmest fortitude, a determinate, unsurrenderable wilfulness, in the fixed and fearless, forward dedication of that glance." 
- Starbuck:
+ Chief mate. 
+ Native of Nantucket. 
+ Quaker by descent. 
+ Thin. 
+ "His pure tight skin was an excellent fit; and closely wrapped up in it, and embalmed with inner health and strength, like a revivified Egyptian, this Starbuck seemed prepared to endure for long ages to come, and to endure always, as now; for be it Polar snow or torrid sun, like a patent chronometer, his interior vitality was warranted to do well in all climates." 
+ In his eyes are "lingering images of those thousand-fold perils he had calmly confronted through life". 
+ Believes that "an utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward". 
+ Courage is not a sentiment, but "a thing simply useful to him", and shouldn't be foolishly wasted. 
- Stubb: 
+ 2nd mate. 
+ Native of Cape-Cod. 
+ "A happy-go-lucky; neither craven nor valiant; taking perils as they came with an indifferent air". 
+ Good-humoured, easy, careless, unfearing. 
+ "You would almost as soon have expected him to turn out of his bunk without his nose as without his pipe. [...] For, when Stubb dressed, instead of first putting his legs into his trowsers, he put his pipe into his mouth."
- Flask: 
+ 3rd mate. 
+ Native of Tisbury, in Martha's vineyard. 
+ "A short, stout, ruddy young fellow, very pugnacious concerning whales, who somehow seemed to think that the great leviathans had personally and hereditarily affronted him; and therefore it was a sort of point of honour with him, to destroy them whenever encountered." Whales are to him nothing but "a species of magnified mouse, or at least water-rat". 
- Queequeg: 
+ Starbuck's squire. 
+ Ishmael's best friend. 
+ Tattooed; his face is "of a dark, purplish, yellow colour, here and there stuck over with large blackish looking squares". 
+ Cannibal. 
+ No hair on his head but "a small scalp-knot twisted up on his forehead". 
+ His back has the same dark squares, and his legs are marked as if "a parcel of dark green frogs were running up the trunks of young palms". 
+ There seem "tokens of a spirit that would dare a thousand devils" "in his large, deep eyes, fiery black and bold". 
+ Native of Kokovoko, "an island far away to the West and South"; son of a king. 
+ Not fully civilised ("His education was not yet completed. He was an undergraduate."). 
+ Worships Yojo and once a year has a Ramadan when he sits still and does nothing for the whole day. 
+ Smokes from a tomahawk, shaves with his harpoon, eats raw meat, loves chowder, reaches over the table and grapples beefsteaks towards himself with his harpoon.
+ Strong; can carry a wheelbarrow, with his heavy chest in it, on his shoulders. 
- Tashtego: 
+ Stubb's squire. 
+ Unmixed Indian from Gay Head. 
+ Has "long, lean, sable hair", high cheek bones, black rounding eyes and "lithe snaky limbs". 
- Daggoo: 
+ Flask's squire. 
+ A "gigantic, coal-black negro-savage, with a lion-like tread". 
+ Has 2 golden hoops suspended from his ears. 
+ Tall, erect as a giraffe- "a white man standing before him seemed a white flag come to beg truce of a fortress". 
+ Retains "all of his barbaric virtues". 
1 line attracts my attention: "... in all these cases the native American liberally provides the brains, the rest of the world as generously supplying the muscles". 
Note that I haven't written anything about Ishmael. That can wait. 

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