Chapters 82–92

Summary Chapters 82–92

The imagery in this section stresses ambiguity. Death and birth are connected as the blood of the panicked, hurt whales mingles with the milk that the calves are drinking when the “Grand Armada” of whales is attacked. When the Pequod chases the whales, it is in turn chased by pirates, illustrating that ocean life involves a repeating cycle of events; we thus come to understand the story of the Pequod from a larger, more philosophical perspective. This interchangeability of parts also suggests some equivalence between the men on the Pequod and the whales. Indeed, particularly in the chapter on “Schools and Schoolmasters,” Ishmael gives the whale a range of human qualities. This anthropomorphizing (giving human attributes to nonhuman entities) suggests that hunting whales is exploitative and even murderous. Critics have suggested that Moby-Dick can be read as an analogue to other forms of exploitation by white men, such as slavery, colonialism, and territorial expansion.