Moby-Dick - Study Guide Chapters 55-57 Summary & Analysis

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Ishmael informs the reader of his intent to portray the whale as it really is, not as it appears in some works of art. Ishmael scorns some works of art for their inaccurate depiction of the fish. In addition to scorning works of art, Ishmael also ridicules some of the inaccurate drawings of whales done by those claiming to be part of the scientific, intelligent community. Ishmael excuses these attempts as he says, they are made by observing a stranded whale which would be like drawing a picture of a wrecked boat and passing it for a normal vessel. Ishmael also notes that when alive, the majority of a whale's form is hidden underwater. Also, studying the skeleton cannot even give an adequate idea of what these beasts look like.

Ishmael starts by discussing some of the less inaccurate representations of whales and the whaling...

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This section contains 404 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Moby-Dick from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.