Chapter 1 - 2 Notes from Moby Dick

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Moby Dick Chapter 1 - 2

Chapter 1 - 2

Loomings/The Carpet-Bag

"Call me Ishmael." Chapter 1, pg. 1 opens the book, one of the most famous opening lines in literature.

Ishmael is a schoolteacher who every so often get the desire to go sailing. When he sails, he normally sails as a merchant sailor, because he is paid and has no responsibility. This time, however, he decides to go on a whaling ship. He believes that fate itself had a hand in his decision.

Topic Tracking: Fate 1

Ishmael packs his things, and heads to Nantucket to find a ship. He chooses Nantucket over other nearer cities, because Nantucket was the first American city to send out whalers.

Topic Tracking: Nature of Whaling 1

He is stuck in New Bedford for two nights and a day. He looks for a place to stay, passing by two inns that are too nice for the amount of money he has; the third place he sees is a black church, which he quickly leaves.

Topic Tracking: Religion 1

Close to the sea, he comes upon one final place, The Spouter-Inn. The building looks old and rundown enough for him to be able to afford it, and he goes inside.

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