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Re: Inns

The Inn is a foreshadowing of the ship (and the 'male society' on the ship), I guess so because I didn't yet read that far. The difference is that you can get out of the Inn on a Sunday morning if you wish....that you can't do later on when floating on the sea.

I think one can read a lot of symbolism (different levels) into the text but personally I didn't yet attempt that. I now read mostly on the first'informative' level.

ziki
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fanuzzir
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Re: finally meeting Queequeg

But as the mind kicks slowly into gear again and starts to function (Melville describes that so precisely)

Ziki, I love the deliberateness and insight with which he narrates his thought process. The pacing, the set-ups, everthing you say is right. I don't know a more self-aware, self-mocking chapter in the novel. I wish they were all like that; I feel he tries too hard when he describes the authority figures on board, like Stubb, Starbuck, and Ahab.
Bob (Silver Spoon).
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Katelyn
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Re: Inns

[ Edited ]

fanuzzir wrote:
Melville coined the term "isolotoe" to explain his character. I see this as well, but I can't square that with jovial convivality he enjoys with Queequeg, who, significantly, is "other" by definition. Why is this person his only friend?


It is possible the solitudes would be draw to those that are "other" as their "otherness" mirrors their own (albeit in different ways). I agree Ishmael is quite sociable in his own way, but he seems to move away from "normal" civilized life to the fringes which are more enlivening (and thus his people).

PS: I am only on Chapter 9 or 10 so I may not have a very well rounded picture of Ishmael's character yet.

Message Edited by Katelyn on 12-30-200611:14 PM

Message Edited by Katelyn on 12-30-200611:15 PM

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outsider



fanuzzir wrote:
Melville coined the term "isolotoe" to explain his character. I see this as well, but I can't square that with jovial convivality he enjoys with Queequeg, who, significantly, is "other" by definition. Why is this person his only friend?




During the first evening when the sailors flooded the bar Ishmael was in a position of an observer. He was outside of what was happening. It sounded like his own active choice. But it is also a feeling of being an outsider ina situation. it doesn't necessarily mean he is strange but it depicts the feeling of not fitting in that we all can have in a social situation o rin whole life for that part.

Technically it is also fortified by the other man at the bar who is quieter, somehow different and slips away and whom Ishmael noticed at once.

ziki
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Ishmael-naive?



matthieu_78741 wrote:
Considering Qeequeg was selling heads, and Ishmael had no understanding of Qeequeg's culture or background, isn't it naive of Ishmael to have befriended Qeequeg so quickly? Wouldn't he have had to abandon all instinct and judgement to be able to fall asleep? And why didn't he ever ask about the heads? Is the message here one of tolerance and understanding, even at the expense of reason and self preservation?




The way I read it Ishmael got mentally his knickers in a twist..he was not that logical..he wanted to speak up but didn't...he had a lot of work with himself (=his mind that is). He sure didn't digest the head selling mission fully but he needed a bed for night..and the practicality of the situation got the better of him. He didn't have much choice, did he? The survival goes before the mental comfort.

And perhaps it was the instinct that spoke against his fear, perhaps it was his instinct that made him trust the possible friendship. His fear on contrary would drive him away.

And if you had a choie between listening to your fear or your instinct what would you choose?

ziki
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chad
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Re: Inns

[ Edited ]
Good job on this one class! Also remember that whale oil was used as a source of energy in the Inns. It fueled a night life.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 12-31-200609:56 AM

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First impressions

[ Edited ]
What does he mean by the 'part' on sub subs?

Do a bit more but do not expect any thanks? My experince with this in life is that if I want to do anything for others then I have to do that just because of that(my) wish/idea. To expect some thanks would be foolish. Sure we all want to feel appreciated for out efforts but if we give in to that wish the devil takes hold, LOL. Better stay free.

But I can't figure out what this does there in the beginning of the book.
Any input?

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 12-31-200604:47 PM

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comic social tableaux



fanuzzir wrote:
These chapters, 1-27, are some of the most comic and richly observed social tableaus in the entire novel. If he had just kept his novel to these opening scenes on land, he still would have had a masterpiece.>




Right. I suspect that if Melville lived today the publisher would edit him hard and he would have a best seller in hand to tour with. He'd shake hands with both Oprah and Larry King, having a tail of paparazzis behind his behind. ;-)

ziki
hehe
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book-nut
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Re: Inns (possible spoiler)



chad wrote:
And the sailors were compared to shepherds and the baby jesus could be the black idol the whole inn is compared to a ship and I think the last name of Peter is Coffin.... any guesses as to why?

Chad




I believe the name "Coffin" foreshadows some future event. Also, I am reading the Spark Notes for Moby Dick along with the book, and it is noted that Saint 'Peter' is the patron saint of fisherman! I consider myself very "literate", but this book is amazingly meaningful. I had to get a copy of the Spark Notes just to keep up with the rest of you!!!
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All that whaling lore



fanuzzir wrote: I do think all of Melville's factual whaling lore, the whaling mythology, and the philosophical mysticism is an attempt to create a deeply textured literary-secular "religion." What do you all think?




Literary-secular religion...how do you mean in simple words?

I didn't read that far yet but a question arises in my mind already: why did Melville go into all the whaling detail (as I hear)....but maybe he just had to stick to some frame/ setting that could hold his 'big' thoughts.

I'll come back to this later.

ziki
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chad
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Re: sub subs

Ziki:

I was thinking something low-class?- if the low class exists but only in our minds... This make-believe lit-prof. gig is a little depressing.

Chad
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chad
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Re: Peter Coffin

Probably something about sexuality- a better sexuality or sexuality might be found at the other inns. Your sexuality might be dependent on what you could afford or quite possibly what you were "allowed."

Chad
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georgie
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the power of the sea to attract us

chapter 1 "circumambulate the city...what do you see. posted like silent sentinals all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries..these are all landsmen, of weekdays pent up in lath and plaster, tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks...how is this then..what do they do here"

what is this power of the ocean to attract and how does it affect you?
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georgie
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are we all slaves?

chapter 1 who aint a slave, tell me that...everybody else is one way or another served in much the same way, either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is, and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each others shoulder blades, and be content

are we slaves? why or why not? are we content either way?
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georgie
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is it our duty to bring more humor into the world?

chapter 5 a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing, the mores the pity. so, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way. and the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man then you perhaps think for.

Do you deliberatly make jokes or make fun of yourself for the enjoyment of other people? Do you find that this helps to make friends, cause you to be a laughing stock, or both?
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making ourselves start to converse

chapter 5 nearly every man maintained a profound silence. and not only that, but theey looked embarrased. yes, here were a set of sea dogs, many of whom without the slightest bashfulness had boarded great whales on the high seas...and duelled them dead without winking, and yet, here they sat at a social breakfast table, all of the same calling, all of kindred tastes, looking round as sheepishly at each other...a curious sight these bashful bears, these timid warrior whalemen

Why is it so difficult for many to start conversations, regardless of their courage or circumstance? What are some of the things we tell ourselves that are successful in getting us to "break the ice"?
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Re: sub subs

yes,I was thinking perhaps someone who is told what to do and is in no position to do otherwise....servants..or the sailors on the ship.

ziki
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Re: is it our duty to bring more humor into the world?



georgie wrote:smileyvery-happy:o you deliberatly make jokes or make fun of yourself for the enjoyment of other people? Do you find that this helps to make friends, cause you to be a laughing stock, or both?




A humor of that kind can be an expression of self distance and self knowledge but it can in less fortunate circumstances be also an expression of low self-esteem. So it all depends on the given situation.

It is not my duty to bring humor into the world, it is already there, inherent.
My 'duty' (or I 'd rather say option) is to decide to see it.

ziki
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Re: making ourselves start to converse

[ Edited ]

georgie wrote:Why is it so difficult for many to start conversations, regardless of their courage or circumstance? What are some of the things we tell ourselves that are successful in getting us to "break the ice"?




There's often nothing to talk about.Most conversations are really monologues. No one is interested in listening, both sides want to talk and be listened to and feel comfortable,
acknowledged.

Generally people chat too much because they can't tolerate the silence. They feel uncomfortable in the silence. However, silence is golden.
Silence can also be an expression of inability to be honest. Things that 'you're not supposed to talk about' are not mentioned....in which case it breaks a relationship.

During the breakfast only Ishmael expected the talk. He was a newbie, he was curious. Those who knew didn't have the same need to talk about whales. And last but not least it is not easy to talk when you eat. Those two occupations do not combine easily, either you talk or you eat; you can't do both at the same time. It's difficult to keep your full attention on the taste of the food and the flow of social conversation at the table.

Breakfast in the morning and the bar in the evening are two different 'male' social situations.

my two rupees :-)
ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 12-31-200609:47 PM

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Re: are we all slaves?



georgie wrote:are we slaves? why or why not? are we content either way?




We are all slaves as long as we are not fully conscious, aware.

Are we content with it? Many are; knowing can be very uncomfortable and it can demand a change of the status quo. Generally speaking people abhore change.

ziki
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