Moby Dick is a story of the whaling ship Pequod and its captain's monomaniacal quest for revenge. Maimed by the white whale Moby Dick, Ahab sinks deeper and deeper into his obsession with exacting vengeance on the beast. The richly symbolic story, narrated by penniless sailor Ishmael, is as much an exploration of whaling and the scientific study of whales as it is a tale of fixation, violence, and the search for meaning in a meaningless world.
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851) is a novel by Herman Melville, in which the sole survivor of a lost whaling ship relates the tale of his captain's self-destructive obsession to hunt the white whale, Moby-Dick.
“Young man,” said Bildad sternly, “thou art skylarking with me — explain thyself, thou young Hittite. What church dost thee mean? answer me.”
Finding myself thus hard pushed, I replied,“I mean, sir, the same ancient Catholic Church to which you and I, and Captain Peleg there, and Queequeg here, and all of us, and every mother’s son and soul of us belong; the great and everlasting First Congregation of this whole worshipping world; we all belong to that; only some of us cherishsome queer crotchets no ways touching the grand belief; in that we all join hands.” “Splice, thou mean’st splice hands,” cried Peleg, drawing nearer. “Young man, you’d better ship for a missionary, instead of a fore-mast hand; I never heard a better sermon.…"
"Nantucket market! Hoot! But come closer, Starbuck; thou requirest a little lower layer. If money's to be the measurer, man, and the accountants have computed their great counting-house the globe, by girdling it with guineas, one to every three parts of an inch; then, let me tell thee, that my vengeance will fetch a great premium here!"
"He smites his chest," whispered Stubb, "what's that for? methinks it rings most vast, but hollow."