Moby-Dick Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Explain why Ishmael decides to book himself on a whaling ship.

Ishmael is a school master who likes to have adventure on the seas. He has never been on a whaling ship and decides to sign on for a three-year trip that will take him around the world.

2. How does Ishmael happen to share a bed with a tattooed headhunter?

The inn where Ishmael tries to find a room while waiting to go on to Nantucket can only give him a room where he will have to share a bed with the man already there. The innkeeper does not tell Ishmael that the man is from an island where they still collect and shrink the heads of their enemies.

3. Why does Ishmael soon lose his astonishment over Queequeg in New Bedford?

Ishmael sees all sorts of strange people in New Bedford and notices that the people take no notice of their oddities. He and Queequeg soon become great friends.

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