Monday, July 12, 2010

Moby Dick Reading Challenge - Week #4

Moby Dick Reading Challenge - Week #4

Pages read this week: 300-401
Chapters read this week: 59-83

Only 52 chapters and 224 pages left to go and I will be done with Moby Dick. I am so proud of myself for reading this far. The reading is going pretty good now as I have picked up a natural rhythm when reading this story. I was reading my 100 pages from Tuesday to Friday with 25 pages a day, but last week I read from Tuesday to Thursday and finished my pages a day early. This week I plan to read all my pages during the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon and finish by Wednesday. Hopefully I am going to write my post early and schedule it for Monday as I will be lost in the woods at Boy Scout camp next week.

The beginning of this section of the book begins with the sighting of a squid and the first Sperm whale kill. It was gruesome and crazy and amazing. Melville really makes you feel amazed at the difficulty of the chase and kill of a whale and great sadness as the whale gives up his life for the sake of mankind's selfish needs. Ishmael then narrates how the dead whale is brought to the side of the boat and tied there for the night and how the sharks hover and tear at the whale carcass. He then explains to the reader how the whale is cut up and disposed of including obtaining the special and fine spermaceti oil located in the whale's skull.

Then the crew chases and kills a Right whale and the Pequod has a whale tied up to each side of the boat with massive amounts of sharks circling. Ishmael launches into comparisons between the two different types of whales, which I actually found quite interesting and found myself looking at the pictures of the whales in the back of the book and studying the ship and implements used to strip the whale of its blubber so it can be boiled down into barrels of oil. The Sperm whale typically yields 100 barrels of oil.

These whales are ginormous. I can't even begin to picture in my mind how massively large they are. Ishmael explains how Tashtego falls into a whale's skull and is actually entombed in there until rescued. Today the Sperm whale is an endangered species and the ban on hunting these whales began in 1987. Some countries still illegally hunt this whale.

Ahab questions every whaling boat that happens by about Moby Dick and if they have sighted the great white whale. I enjoy the Gam between the Captains and crew and look forward to the Pequod meeting new ships on the voyage because they abound with whaling stories.

I am continuing my intellectual voyage by reading pages 402-500 this week. Be sure to join Rachel at 1001 books and Book Snob Wannabe as they sail the foreign seas looking for the infamous whale called Moby Dick.

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture of Moby Dick! This is a book I have actually never read, so I salute you for reading it! :)

    Your blog is great. I am in Savage, MN, so we Twin Cities bloggers gotta stick together!