Moby-Dick - Study Guide Chapter 47-48 Summary & Analysis

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As the chapter opens, Ishmael and Queequeg are weaving a mat. As he weaves, Ishmael considers that the mat is like life and he is the shuttle weaving in and out of it. Queequeg drives the yarn home with a wooden sword which he uses carelessly, hitting sometimes sideways and sometimes straight on making differences in the pattern of the mat. Ishmael equates these sword hits to chance or free will that changes the pattern of one's life.

Ishmael's quandaries are interrupted by a cry from Tashtego that he sees whales on the horizon. Immediately the lazy crew leaps to action preparing to go after their destined prey. Boats and crew are ready to go when they are surprised by a cry from Ahab. The entire crew turns to look at the man who appears to be surrounded by five dusky phantoms.

The crew of...

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This section contains 686 words
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Buy the Moby-Dick Study Guide
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Moby-Dick from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.