The American writer, Herman Melville, was born in New York in 1918. He was one of eight children. Herman’s father died when he was twelve years old, and a year later he left school and began working in a bank to help support his family. This was followed by jobs as a teacher and newspaper reporter. Then, at age of nineteen, he sailed on a merchant ship to Liverpool in England. Thiswas the first of several sea voyages until, at age of twenty-one, he joined the crew of the wailing ship Acushnet.
Melville and another sailor left the Acushnet eighteen months after sailing from New York to travel around South America and across Pacific Ocean. The two men landed at the Marquesas Islands in the South Seas where they lived for a short time among cannibals. Melville used thisexperience in his first book, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846). Two more books, Omoo (1847) and Mardi and Voyage Thither (1849).
By 1850, Melville was married and he went to live in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Here they became good friends and neighbours of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was one of America’s most famous writers. Melville greatly admired Hawthorne’s work and was inspired and encouragedto write Moby Dick soon after the two men met. Melville dedicated the book to his friend when it was published in 1851.
The book was not popular with the readers or critics, and after this he wrote mostly short stories and poetry until his death in 1891.
It wasn’t until the 1920s that some Melville’s unfinished manuscripts were found by chance. At this point, the critics interest in Melville’swriting began to grow and Moby Dick finally became recognized as a classic American novel. It is now considered to be one of the greatest novels of all time.
1. Why Ishmael think that it was time for him to go to sea again?
Because there was nothing to interest he on shore and he was feeling irritable and tempered.
2. He decided to go to sea as an ordinary sailor. What did welearn about Ishmael from this decision?
He is adventurous, responsible and humble.
3. He planned to go to Nantucket. How might that help him fulfil his dream?
Because all the biggest and best whaling ships sailed out of Nantucket.
4. Ishmael had to share a bed in the inn. What was unusual about his companion?
The companion was a cannibal harpooner who sells embalmed heads, he had tattooed allover his body and just a small circle of hair in the center of his bare.
5. The sailors on a whaling ship had different jobs. What were they?
They were chief mates, second mates, third mates, carpenters, blacksmiths and harpooners.
1. The preacher spoke about Jonah. Why did he tell this story?
Because Jonah was a prophet. The sailors of the ship were threw Jonah overboard in tothe see, because they thought that he was punished by God. God sent a whale for helped Jonah and he was inside the fish for three days and three nights and Good told the whale to spout out Jonah on to dry island.
2. What interesting things did Queequeg tell Ishmael about himself?
Queequeg told Ishmael that he was born on the island of Rokovoko, a place far away to the west and south in the PacificOcean. His father was a High Chief, when he died Queequeg would be King, but he not ready to return to the island and be King. He wanted to explore the oceans and see the world first.
3. Which of these three men: Bildad, Peleg or Ahab was the captain of the Pequod?
The captain of the Pequod was Ahab.
4. What was Ishmael told about this man?
Ahab only got one leg, the other leg was bitten bya whale, Moby Dick.
1. “A troublemaker” and “crazy”. Do you agree with these opinions about Elijah? Give reasons for your answer.
Yes, because the old man told strange things and he was following Ishmael and Queequeg.
2. The Pequod was being prepared for her long voyage. How?
The old sails were being mended, and the new sails, ropes and rigging were coming aboard. There were spare...