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Free Study Guide-Moby Dick by Herman Melville-Free Booknotes Summary
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Chapter 114

Summary

Very soon on the Pacific, the Pequod meets a Nantucket ship - the ‘Bachelor’. It is packed to the brim with sperm oil, and the ship is returning home after a successful expedition. As the merry ship passes the Pequod, the captain calls Ahab to come and visit the ship, but Ahab refuses. When Ahab inquires about the white whale, the captain in the ‘Bachelor’ says he has not seen one. Besides, he does not believe that there is any white whale at all. So Captain Ahab does not feel the need to have any further conversation with the ‘Bachelor.’ He instructs his men to move on in their search for Moby Dick.


Notes

Here the reader sees a contrast in the previous ship "Virgin" and the Bachelor. While the Virgin had not caught any whale, Bachelor is a full vessel going towards home. It has fulfilled its purpose unlike the Pequod which has a different purpose which makes it fraught with tension and unhappiness.

The chapter also brings out Ahab’s asocial as well single-minded obsession for the whale. This is because he makes conversation or visits ship, only if there is any news about the white whale. Otherwise, he does not feel the need to have any ‘gamming’ or meeting with other whaling ships.

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