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Choisya
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Re: Ahab #4 : (Possible Spoiler) Focussing v. Multi-tasking

Great link Ziki - reminded me of when my sons were at home:smileyhappy:




ziki wrote:

fanuzzir wrote:This is a great reminder to us all that we have not discussed gender, or masculinity, in Ahab's and Ishmael's character. Shame on us. Choisya is very canny in reminding us that the qualities we admire in, or at least forgive Ahab for are the ramrod straight purposeful qualities that get us all into trouble. Ishmael, on the other hand, lets the wind carry his thought to whatever topic he chooses. There's something freethinking, to use Choisya's term, about his personality, and something gentle about his philosophy. He'll never lead; in fact, he disappears. Is this what we want from a man?





This is tricky, a leader has to be prepared to get into trouble...yet, the eastern saying suggests: leave no trace.
This gets us really into dualities of all kinds, west/east, masc/fem. lead/follow, ego/spirit etc.

Question of balance
Moody Blues
http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?z=y&EAN=042284477123&itm=1

Message Edited by ziki on 01-28-200704:26 AM




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Laurel
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Re: Ahab #4 : (Possible Spoiler) Focussing v. Multi-tasking

Starbuck is the man for me. I'll bet he would even bring me coffee.



fanuzzir wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ziki wrote:-
'...[Ahab] totally focused on his own purpose...and a captain still. I bet all men has to love that streak in him.'



Yes, this is supposed to be a very male characteristic isn't it - focussing on the task in hand, instead of the 'multi-tasking' nature of women. But given the state of the male-dominated world, is it necessarily something to admire or to nurture? Was Ishmael, the sole survivor, more of a multi-tasker do you think?

Or to use another analogy from the book - Is Ahab a fast-fish 'possessed' by his own obsession and is Ishmael a loose-fish because he survives as a freethinking man?



This is a great reminder to us all that we have not discussed gender, or masculinity, in Ahab's and Ishmael's character. Shame on us. Choisya is very canny in reminding us that the qualities we admire in, or at least forgive Ahab for are the ramrod straight purposeful qualities that get us all into trouble. Ishmael, on the other hand, lets the wind carry his thought to whatever topic he chooses. There's something freethinking, to use Choisya's term, about his personality, and something gentle about his philosophy. He'll never lead; in fact, he disappears. Is this what we want from a man?



"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: Ahab #4 : (Possible Spoiler) Focussing v. Multi-tasking

I seem to see Starbuck as Ahab's conscience or guardian angel? (Would someone elses guardian angel bring you coffee?:smileyhappy:)





Laurel wrote:
Starbuck is the man for me. I'll bet he would even bring me coffee.
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Link to post on Chapter 81 re: coffee

I had intended to bring this topic up, but forgot: thanks for the reminder, L. See my post:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=MobyDick&message.id=1320


Laurel wrote:
Starbuck is the man for me. I'll bet he would even bring me coffee.
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choosing men (off topic)



Laurel wrote:
Starbuck is the man for me. I'll bet he would even bring me coffee.




hahah, you're funeeee.

I have to wait for the DVD (you recommended) to arrive in order to take a good look and make my choice. Ahab in shades aka Stewart out of character and on board of Voyage speaking to Paine (sp?) is not bad. But that doesn't count.

ziki
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Laurel
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Re: Ahab #4 : (Possible Spoiler) Focussing v. Multi-tasking



Choisya wrote:
I seem to see Starbuck as Ahab's conscience or guardian angel? (Would someone elses guardian angel bring you coffee?:smileyhappy:)





Laurel wrote:
Starbuck is the man for me. I'll bet he would even bring me coffee.





I see Starbuck as the moral compass for the voyage. He just wanted to do his duty and get back home to his wife and son with enough money for them to live on.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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donyskiw
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Re: Ahab #4 : (Possible Spoiler) Focussing v. Multi-tasking

I don't think it was the lack of multi-tasking but the obsession with something non-virtuous (vengeance) that was their undoing. And Starbuck was the one who tried the hardest to pursuade Ahab to let go of that obsession. I agree with Laurel, Starbuck was my kind of man!

Denise



fanuzzir wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ziki wrote:-
'...[Ahab] totally focused on his own purpose...and a captain still. I bet all men has to love that streak in him.'



Yes, this is supposed to be a very male characteristic isn't it - focussing on the task in hand, instead of the 'multi-tasking' nature of women. But given the state of the male-dominated world, is it necessarily something to admire or to nurture? Was Ishmael, the sole survivor, more of a multi-tasker do you think?

Or to use another analogy from the book - Is Ahab a fast-fish 'possessed' by his own obsession and is Ishmael a loose-fish because he survives as a freethinking man?



This is a great reminder to us all that we have not discussed gender, or masculinity, in Ahab's and Ishmael's character. Shame on us. Choisya is very canny in reminding us that the qualities we admire in, or at least forgive Ahab for are the ramrod straight purposeful qualities that get us all into trouble. Ishmael, on the other hand, lets the wind carry his thought to whatever topic he chooses. There's something freethinking, to use Choisya's term, about his personality, and something gentle about his philosophy. He'll never lead; in fact, he disappears. Is this what we want from a man?



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Re: Ahab #4 : (Possible Spoiler) Focussing v. Multi-tasking



Laurel wrote:


Choisya wrote:
I seem to see Starbuck as Ahab's conscience or guardian angel? I see Starbuck as the moral compass for the voyage. He just wanted to do his duty and get back home to his wife and son with enough money for them to live on.




I see this too, but maybe he also agreed to bring Ahab his coffee once too often.
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Re: Comparing chapters 36 and 42 (spoiler: end of the book)



fanuzzir wrote:
That is what makes the novel so thoughtful and challenging. Ishmael is tremendously appealing, self-aware, and suspicious of Ahab's obsessions. And yet you are right; he is a cog in the machine, and part of an obedient and purposeful crew. He seems trapped with all that knowledge and self-awareness in an environment that cannot possibly reward them . . .




But he survives to tell and that is his reward or rather I'd call it mission.

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Starbuck x Ahab, (Possible Spoiler end of the book)



Laurel wrote:I see Starbuck as the moral compass for the voyage. He just wanted to do his duty and get back home to his wife and son with enough money for them to live on.




Yes, he is a prototype of the ordinary, responsible solid man who's happy with his lot. He's sensible and well adjusted to his human existence, he will never challenge anything.

But Ahab and Starbuck brought out hidden qualities in each other. Ahab actually gave the ship to Starbuck counting on his strength to take care of it and the men in case Ahab would die in the fight with the white whale. It's like he had a premonition on the masthead. And thanks to Starbuck we saw the human glimpse even in Ahab that wouldn't seacrh after lost children of Rachel.

ziki
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starbuck



donyskiw wrote: I agree with Laurel, Starbuck was my kind of man!

Denise




Starbuck would be mediocre if Ahab didn't show him what was possible. Starbuck was about to slip and kill Ahab, be like him but there was at least a theoretical possibility that Starbuck would take the other door and seize his greatness. They sort of mirrored their shadow for each other, Ahab and Starbuck.

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gender-masculinity in Ahab and Ishmael



fanuzzir wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ziki wrote:-
'...[Ahab] totally focused on his own purpose...and a captain still. I bet all men has to love that streak in him.'



Yes, this is supposed to be a very male characteristic isn't it - focussing on the task in hand, instead of the 'multi-tasking' nature of women. But given the state of the male-dominated world, is it necessarily something to admire or to nurture? Was Ishmael, the sole survivor, more of a multi-tasker do you think?

Or to use another analogy from the book - Is Ahab a fast-fish 'possessed' by his own obsession and is Ishmael a loose-fish because he survives as a freethinking man?



This is a great reminder to us all that we have not discussed gender, or masculinity, in Ahab's and Ishmael's character. Shame on us. Choisya is very canny in reminding us that the qualities we admire in, or at least forgive Ahab for are the ramrod straight purposeful qualities that get us all into trouble. Ishmael, on the other hand, lets the wind carry his thought to whatever topic he chooses. There's something freethinking, to use Choisya's term, about his personality, and something gentle about his philosophy. He'll never lead; in fact, he disappears. Is this what we want from a man?





I am not sure how to perform the boning of this question.

Masculine and feminine are energies/qualities present in each being and not connected only to the biological sex drive and the hormones. Then we also have cultural patterns as Choisya pointed out and our culture has been dominated by men. But thruth to tell some women became very masculine in the fight for their rights.

How do we fit Ahab and Ishmael into that scheme? I posted some evasive answer but no one picked up that ball.

Back to Bob's question: do I want a man that will never lead and disappear? No. No woman does (even if she might not admit it).
Ishmael would be the eastern non violent 'buddhist looking at it all' while Ahab would be the forceful bull of the west. This polarity is shown in the book (whales and men).

Is it possible to choose? Isn't it rather about an interplay of both, some dynamic creative expression based on the individual's unique ability? A merger of both receptivity and action and that in both women and men?

ziki
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Choisya
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Re: gender-masculinity in Ahab and Ishmael

Ziki wrote:
Is it possible to choose? Isn't it rather about an interplay of both, some dynamic creative expression based on the individual's unique ability? A merger of both receptivity and action and that in both women and men?

Isn't this what folks today mean when they talk about men 'getting in touch with their feminine side' and presumably women 'getting in touch with their masculine side' too? To some extent this seems to be happening as men begin to look after babies, wheel the pram, do the shopping etc and women mend the car, paint the house or just have more responsible jobs. But generations of male dominance and macho-masculinity are not going to change overnight and we perhaps just have to keep working at it to get 'a merger of both receptivity and action....in both women and men' - to get a fusion of Ahabs and Ishmaels perhaps. We have come a long way since Melville's day and the 'subjection of women' (and Ishmaels) but we still have a tremendous voyage to make.




ziki wrote:


fanuzzir wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ziki wrote:-
'...[Ahab] totally focused on his own purpose...and a captain still. I bet all men has to love that streak in him.'



Yes, this is supposed to be a very male characteristic isn't it - focussing on the task in hand, instead of the 'multi-tasking' nature of women. But given the state of the male-dominated world, is it necessarily something to admire or to nurture? Was Ishmael, the sole survivor, more of a multi-tasker do you think?

Or to use another analogy from the book - Is Ahab a fast-fish 'possessed' by his own obsession and is Ishmael a loose-fish because he survives as a freethinking man?



This is a great reminder to us all that we have not discussed gender, or masculinity, in Ahab's and Ishmael's character. Shame on us. Choisya is very canny in reminding us that the qualities we admire in, or at least forgive Ahab for are the ramrod straight purposeful qualities that get us all into trouble. Ishmael, on the other hand, lets the wind carry his thought to whatever topic he chooses. There's something freethinking, to use Choisya's term, about his personality, and something gentle about his philosophy. He'll never lead; in fact, he disappears. Is this what we want from a man?





I am not sure how to perform the boning of this question.

Masculine and feminine are energies/qualities present in each being and not connected only to the biological sex drive and the hormones. Then we also have cultural patterns as Choisya pointed out and our culture has been dominated by men. But thruth to tell some women became very masculine in the fight for their rights.

How do we fit Ahab and Ishmael into that scheme? I posted some evasive answer but no one picked up that ball.

Back to Bob's question: do I want a man that will never lead and disappear? No. No woman does (even if she might not admit it).
Ishmael would be the eastern non violent 'buddhist looking at it all' while Ahab would be the forceful bull of the west. This polarity is shown in the book (whales and men).

Is it possible to choose? Isn't it rather about an interplay of both, some dynamic creative expression based on the individual's unique ability? A merger of both receptivity and action and that in both women and men?

ziki


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Re: gender-masculinity in Ahab and Ishmael

[ Edited ]
I think it is more subtle than men dragging pram around and women drilling holes into walls. There's not much left of a man fiddling around with a pram and she'd better hammer in the nail with her high heels to make it more attractive to watch. Misunderstand me rightly...I think we reached some strange impass when both genders lost their edge.

If my grandma was the woman dependent, my ma was the do it yourself feminist, then I want something different, something of them both because none of them was fulfilled.

A man has to lead otherwise the woman will despise him. I know this is controversial to say but it is what I observe. It doesn't mean to go back to 'my way or high way' macho male but it leads rather to a next step....and that needs spiritual development of both. She needs to tolerate both uncertainty and freedom and he needs to learn to worship her while he knows where his spine is.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 01-31-200707:40 AM

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Choisya
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Re: gender-masculinity in Ahab and Ishmael

Ziki wrote:

Of course it is more subtle, I was abbreviating. These mundane things are nevertheless significant considering that such role reversals were practically unheard of in our grandmother's day.

'A man has to lead otherwise the woman will despise him.......She needs to tolerate both uncertainty and freedom and he needs to learn to worship her while he knows where his spine is.'

Why? The world has been (is!) full of male leaders which women have despised and why should women expect to be treated as deities?

'...and that needs spiritual development of both.'

What does this mean? More people believing in dieties, especially male ones?

If you want something different then why perpetuate the old stereotypes?


A man has to lead otherwise the woman will despise him.

ziki wrote:
I think it is more subtle than men dragging pram around and women drilling holes into walls. There's not much left of a man fiddling around with a pram and she'd better hammer in the nail with her high heels to make it more attractive to watch. Misunderstand me rightly...I think we reached some strange impass when both genders lost their edge.

If my grandma was the woman dependent, my ma was the do it yourself feminist, then I want something different, something of them both because none of them was fulfilled.

A man has to lead otherwise the woman will despise him. I know this is controversial to say but it is what I observe. It doesn't mean to go back to 'my way or high way' macho male but it leads rather to a next step....and that needs spiritual development of both. She needs to tolerate both uncertainty and freedom and he needs to learn to worship her while he knows where his spine is.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 01-31-200707:40 AM




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Re: gender-masculinity in Ahab and Ishmael

[ Edited ]
Choisya wrote: ...why should women expect to be treated as deities?


z:because you are divine in your core, essence magnificence and you deserve it, so does any man. Reverence, respect, awe and gratefullness embodied. Humbleness not last.


Ch:
The world has been (is!) full of male leaders which women have despised ....

z:
But see here we differ:IMHO the world didn't have many leaders to be worth that title. Instead we witnessed many power-hungry chauvinists on all possible levels, and weaklings trying to assert themselves no matter what even with violence; Ahabs in short. And down we go!



z:'...and that needs spiritual development of both.

Ch:
What does this mean? More people believing in dieties, especially male ones?

If you want something different then why perpetuate the old stereotypes?



z: No, not more deities= false idols and Yojos. That means recognizing your own goodness and (divine) potential for love instead of acting like a hungry ghost, a needy romantic always dependent and a slave to a dreamlike sweet illusion, denying what is real which is freedom love for all and ability to MANIFEST your divinity. Same a sin french revolution ;-) egalité, fraternité....etc..it's in all scriptures, too, repeated over and over again. It's abked in books like MD.

Gosh, this sounds like an idealistic utopia but it is just that simple, here and now, were we not blind we'd seen it bums....it's simple but not easy though.

Let me say: I see how you think, I hear you Choisya. I agree with you that we can't go back we need to go forward...(and yet we are marching on spot). All is already and always was.

This goes deep in us.

UR great, thanks for being here.
ziki :-)

Message Edited by ziki on 01-31-200707:58 PM

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Re: Starbuck x Ahab, (Possible Spoiler end of the book)

[ Edited ]

ziki wrote:
But Ahab and Starbuck brought out hidden qualities in each other. Ahab actually gave the ship to Starbuck counting on his strength to take care of it and the men in case Ahab would die in the fight with the white whale. It's like he had a premonition on the masthead. And thanks to Starbuck we saw the human glimpse even in Ahab that wouldn't seacrh after lost children of Rachel.


ziki




Extremely insightful. There's that handshake at the end, remember, when the men trade deep understanding of what was shared between them and what they will not be able to enjoy together. I see Melville pursuing this same theme of thwarted, frustrated brotherhood in so many stories: Billy Budd, Bartleby the Scrivener, Benito Cereno. Thanks again Ziki.

Message Edited by fanuzzir on 01-31-200709:00 PM

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Re: gender-masculinity in Ahab and Ishmael



Choisya wrote:
Ziki wrote:
Is it possible to choose? Isn't it rather about an interplay of both, some dynamic creative expression based on the individual's unique ability? A merger of both receptivity and action and that in both women and men?



I'm going to flail away at the theme of my preceeding post: that Ahab and Starbuck/Ishmael are interlocked some way, as are the poles of masculinity everyone has been talking about. I think Melville says that it takes a horrible act of will to expunge that Starbuck/Ishael side; it is a decision, and a tragic one at that, to do so under what a man feels are unavoidable circumstances. Under "natural" circumstances, Melville's men, as we found in the dry land sections, are tremendously appealing, quirky, and affectionate. (Now you will ask me what is "natural.")
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Re: Starbuck x Ahab, (Possible Spoiler end of the book)



fanuzzir wrote:Extremely insightful. There's that handshake at the end, remember, when the men trade deep understanding of what was shared between them and what they will not be able to enjoy together. I see Melville pursuing this same theme of thwarted, frustrated brotherhood in so many stories: Billy Budd, Bartleby the Scrivener, Benito Cereno. Thanks again Ziki.

Message Edited by fanuzzir on 01-31-200709:00 PM






I didn't read other books by Melville but I think it is such a typical "male" scene....all is said and not much is said....it is both akward and very touching at the same time...and somehow there's no way back however much they both want it...

At best Ahab understood that he put all his money on the wrong horse but if he would retire what would be left of him? He'd detest himself, he couldn't see his face in a mirror and he wouldn't be of any help to his wife or child. I think they both saw it. And brothers they were because Stabuck would pay the same price, however unwillingly....

And then you have the ampersand longing women on the shore looking over the horizon holding a child by the hand.

Can you say anything else about a purpose and a lost mission? Hardly. Perhaps the only honor for Ahab was in death. What if he was a little changed man when he lowered for the third time? Then there's hope.

ziki
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Re: gender-masculinity in Ahab and Ishmael


fanuzzir wrote:I'm going to flail away at the theme of my preceeding post: that Ahab and Starbuck/Ishmael are interlocked some way, as are the poles of masculinity everyone has been talking about. I think Melville says that it takes a horrible act of will to expunge that Starbuck/Ishael side; it is a decision, and a tragic one at that, to do so under what a man feels are unavoidable circumstances. Under "natural" circumstances, Melville's men, as we found in the dry land sections, are tremendously appealing, quirky, and affectionate. (Now you will ask me what is "natural.")





What is unnatural?


I think it shows that you have to embrace that Starbuck /Ishmael side otherwise you (and most likely others) are going to pay dearly. I am saying the same but differently. :-)

ziki
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