Wednesday, July 15, 2015


"Queequeg was George Washington cannibalistically developed."
—from chapter 10 of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, "A Bosom Friend"


"A Bosom Friend" (10) continues with what started in "The Counterpane" (4) and "Breakfast" (5).


The above quote is a great line. It captures the near deification of Washington in the American canon of civil religion. It portrays the importance of Queequeg within his own society, as well as in Ishmael's mind. And it furthers the friendship/relationship of Ismael and Queequeg, giving us glimpses into how much they genuinely enjoy being around one another.


"I'll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy."

"This soothing savage had redeemed it." The "it" being Ismael's "splintered heart"? His "maddened hand"? The "wolfish world"? All three. In any case, Queequeg will be redeemer of Ishmael in some sense. And he may actually be Ishmael's redeemer right now. Queequeg has evidently helped to transform Ishmael, and in such a short amount of time.

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