Moby Dick Chapter 23 - 25
Chapter 23 - 25
The Lee Shore/The Advocate/Postscript
Ishmael sees Bulkington standing at the helm, and wonders what is it about the man that would make him leave the safety of port for another voyage, after already having been at sea for four years. Bulkington, like the rest of the men on the ship except Ishmael, is doomed to die on this voyage.
"Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous slavish shore?" Chapter 22, pg. 89
Ishmael sets out to prove the value of whaling.
Whalemen are not well regarded in company, because they are considered a form of butcher. But even if that is true, whaling has a long history of being well honored and sponsored by royalty. Whaling is responsible for the peaceful discovery of many foreign lands, and whalemen have braved more terrors than any socially acknowledged heroes. Whale oil might also be used to anoint kings.