Moby Dick Chapter 58 - 60
Chapter 58 - 60
The Brit/Squid/The Line
The Pequod sails onward, passing through large amounts of yellow substance called brit, which the Right Whale feeds on.
Some naturalists regard that every creature on land has a component on sea, and that the two things are equal to each other; but the sea is far more dangerous and subtle than the land.
The Pequod continues her journey to the island of Java, and one day, Daggoo spots something in the water that he thinks is Moby-Dick. The boats are lowered, but when the thing is found, it turns out to be a giant squid. It is a bad omen, and the men return to the ship.
The whale-line is the length of rope attached to the harpoon, which connects the boat to the whale it is following. The line is coiled about the boat in such a way as to be dangerous to any man who is unwary of it- once the harpoon is in the whale, the rope can snap quickly.
"All men live enveloped in the whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life." Chapter 60, pg. 239