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Herman Melville


Study Questions & Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. Where does Ishmael want to go to find a berth on a whaling ship?

2. Which biblical figure is the focus of Father Mapple’s sermon?

3. Which body part has Ahab lost to Moby Dick?

4. What is the name of Ahab’s ship?

5. After what is Ahab’s ship named?

6. For what were whales primarily hunted?

7. Which of the following characters falls overboard and goes insane as a result?

8. Who rescues Tashtego when he falls overboard inside the whale’s head?

9. What does Ahab nail to the ship’s mast to motivate his crew in his quest for Moby Dick?

10. Which of the following characters survives the Pequod’s sinking?

11. What keeps Ishmael afloat after the Pequod sinks?

12. What does the crew look for to indicate the presence of a whale?

13. What frightens Ishmael the most about Moby Dick?

14. What is cetology?

15. What covers Queequeg’s skin?

16. What does Ishmael have tattooed on his forearm?

17. With what is the Pequod adorned?

18. From what is Ahab’s false leg made?

19. With which of the following characters does Ishmael share a bed at the Spouter-Inn?

20. Out of what is Fedallah’s turban made?

21. How does the Pequod sink?

22. Who owns the Pequod?

23. With what does Queequeg sleep?

24. Ahab’s mates include

25. What does Ahab see when he studies the gold doubloon nailed to the mast?

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Moby Dick

by anon_2223138591, January 04, 2015

Probably the best book ever written.Profound psychological insights into human behaviour .


1 out of 1 people found this helpful


by LunaJeong, April 12, 2015



by Tom_Jones66, July 04, 2015

Frankly, I find Moby Dick to be a very enigmatic story, but it was required reading for my college degree and I am still trying to understand the importance of this novel.
A man obsessed with a white whale must be a metaphor for man's quest, but it is still puzzling to me.
I am hoping to Spark Notes can consolidate and distill the message, but life always has more pressing matters for me to attend to than deciphering old texts.
Can anyone tell me why this enduring novel is important - in 25 words or less?

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