Notes on Objects & Places from Moby Dick

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Moby Dick Objects/Places

Nantucket: The city from which the Pequod starts its journey, and the city where American whaling first began.

The Spouter-Inn: The inn where Ishmael first meets Queequeg. It is a whaler's inn, with various whaling weapons hung on the walls, and a bar set inside the jaw of a whale. The landlord is Peter Coffin.

Queequeg's Idol, Yojo: The small idol to which Queequeg worships. Queequeg prays to it each night before retiring to bed, and consults it before any decision. It tells him that Ishmael has to pick the ship the two men are to sail on.

The Whalemen's Chapel: A non-denominational church made for whalers and their widows. It's walls are covered with monuments to sailors who've been lost at sea; since there bodies can never be recovered, this is the only mark left of them.

Pulpit: The pulpit in the church is designed like the prow of a boat. When the ladders are removed, it effectively separates Father Mapple from the rest of the flock. From it, the Father delivers a sermon about Jonah and the Whale.

The Pequod: The ship that Ishmael and Queequeg set sail on. It is primarily of the old school of design, with some new additions onto its deck. A proud ship, it is sunk when Ahab finally finds Moby-Dick.

Pipe: Stubb is hardly ever seen without his pipe; it provides him with constant comfort. When Ahab tries to smoke one himself, however, he is unable to achieve that peace, and throws the pipe overboard.

Ivory Leg: The man-made leg replacing the leg Ahab lost after fighting Moby Dick. It is made from a dead whale, and there are many special settings on the deck of the Pequod made in order to accommodate it. The leg is broken twice; the first time it is replaced by another ivory leg, the second time by wood.

Mast-head: The look-out perch high above the deck of the ship where the men stand to spot for whales. It has its antecedents in Egyptian culture. It can be hard to concentrate on the watch while standing on the mast-head, because of the dullness of it. When the Pequod enters into the Pacific line, a man falls into the ocean from the mast-head, and is killed.

Doubloon: A Spanish gold-piece that Ahab nails into the main mast. He offers it to whoever spots Moby Dick first. However, Ahab is the only man aboard the ship ever to spot Moby Dick.

Whale-line: The line attached to the harpoon, which keeps the whale boat in contact with the whale, it snaps tight when the harpoon has been thrown successfully. It is this line which catches around Ahab's neck at the end of the novel, and drags him to his death.

Ahab's Chart: In his cabin, Ahab has hundreds of sea-charts that he uses to track the known movements of Moby Dick. It has markings of where the whale has been previously seen, and from these markings, Ahab can judge Moby Dick's routine swimming grounds.

The Goney: The first boat the Pequod runs into. It is in ill-repair, and doing poorly.

The Town-Ho: The ship that first sees Moby-Dick. It tells the story of Steelkit and Radney, who is killed by the whale.

The Jeroboam: The ship that bears the madman Gabriel. A man named Mayhew is the captain, but he is forced to take orders from Gabriel, who has the men in fear of his insane, god-like powers.

The Jungfrau: Also known as the Virgin, it is a clean ship, with no whales. The captain, Derick De Deer, comes to beg oil from the Pequod, and also tries to beat them to get to a whale. It is last seen pursuing a wave that the men aboard have mistaken for a whale spout.

The Samuel Enderby: A British sailing ship, it's captain, Captain Boomer, lost an arm to Moby-Dick to match Ahab's lost leg.

Queequeg's Coffin: Queequeg falls sick, and has a coffin built for him; when he recovers, he offers the coffin to replace the lost life-buoy. It was what saves Ishmael in the end.

Ahab's Harpoon: Forged in blood with the strongest steel available, it is designed by Ahab to be the only weapon to kill Moby Dick.

The Rachel: A ship who's captain lost his son to Moby Dick. When he asks for Ahab's help to find the lost boy, Ahab refuses. The Rachel is the ship that picks up Ishmael after the Pequod has sunk.

The Delight: The last ship that the Pequod sees; they are dropping a body into the ocean, and they have lost three other men in hunting Moby Dick.

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