The North Water - Chapters 1-5 Summary & Analysis

Ian McGuire
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Summary

Harpoonist Henry Drax drinks in a dockside bar in Chapter 1 and tries to con the bartender into giving him another drink by a toss of the coin, while he passes the time until the whaling ship Volunteer departs for the waters of the Arctic for seal hunting. Drax, a coarse and profane man, finds a young black homeless boy named Albert Stubbs and offers him food and drink. They find a dark and obscure corner of the midnight dock where Drax hits the boy until he is nearly unconscious. Drax then pulls down the boy's pants and brutally sodomizes him.

Before their departure at daybreak, Captain Arthur Brownlee of the Volunteer quizzes Sumner as he considers him for a spot in the crew in Chapter 2. Sumner is a ship's surgeon who is down on his luck, another Englishman in search of a paycheck...

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This section contains 1,304 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The North Water Study Guide
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