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chad
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Gold based economy and the "gold" democrats

[ Edited ]
The U.S's economy was gold-based-- politcal forces, such as the "gold" democrats in the U.S. would help maintain a gold-based economy until the "great depression" in the 1900's. The whales would become instrumental in the U.S.' westward expansion in the form of railroads, which would later support the gold rushes and gold mining enterprises.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-10-2007 10:43 AM
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chad
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surface

[ Edited ]
Some of the "cliff notes" mention the surface as a theme. That is correct, but its also about how we are worlds within worlds and how conflict takes place on the surface or interfaces between worlds. The surface is where we combine and/or pull away to form new unions or organisms and how interactions between worlds are volatile and not well understood- we don't seem to understand how worlds interrelate. The story's main conflict takes place on the surface of the sea.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 09-12-2007 11:59 PM
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chad
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The union of whale and man?- Makah Indian tribe news

Ok, this is sick, but here we go one more time:

It's difficult to think of the whale hunting of the 1800's as a union, although I believe Melville would rather you think of the hunt in this way, the whales are harpooned and consumed by a much larger beast, a man-made beast made of wood. And anything I eat can be considered to be a union of my body with what I eat. My stomach digests all the nutrients of plant or animal to utilize wherever my body may need them. Hopefully, this happens in a healthy human being. Indeed, Melville describes the Pequod as a larger whale with "pot-boilers" for a stomach that breaks down the parts of the whale for distribution of its oil or "essence" to all its extremities the crew of the Pequod, the armada, a Quaker religion, New England, a Democracy, or a United States- the whale's essence or spirit disseminated throughout her trains, industries and soil. And each extremity may or may not be aware of being consumed by a larger entity, it may not able to see the skin that surrounds it, engulfs or consumes it, sometimes skin being the actual language itself. Or another biological example might be cells in my body being encapsulated by a membrane- a separate world within a larger body- my body.

Again, although I think Melville would like for you to think of the whale hunting to be a union, he does depict the hunt as somewhat "devilish" -- the-devil-made-me-do-it scenario. The pact between Ahab and his crew to hunt the white whale was something of an unholy union, or deal made with the devil, as they lift sizziling harpoon heads in the air.

Whether you consider consumption to be a union or "a deal with the devil", this United States and democracy has consumed them and the Makah tribe may now be facing the spirit of the whale who has said "enough! and the people, influenced by the spirit, have instructed the Indian tribe to stop. But the whale that died recently off the coast of Washington was not consumed at all, it was aimply allowed to die. In contrast, the whales that died during during the 1800's influenced the outcome of our civil war. More broadly, they were consumed by a much larger whale we know as Democracy, and tht's if you believe that our civil war was a fight for freedom and democracy- something I think we still argue today.

In any case, if we are to have a true democracy, the whale will have to have a seat in congress before we proceed to authorize a hunt. The Makah tribe currently is recognized as its own nation and denounced the whale's killing.

Chad

PS- Melville does describe the hunt like sex on a large scale- please reread.
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chad
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"philosophical flourish"

Moby would be about how philosophies,known or unknown, bind large populations in a layer of skin. We are part of philosophical whales and we don't always know what philosophie may bind us- they can be invisible. Melville takes the reader a litlle deeper than the thought that "our greed" or "our hunger" kills the whales. Humans have formed something larger than the whale to consume them. The sole human cannot kill or eat the whale alone, without weapons, accessories, ships, etc. Or much more deeply disturbing: he cannot kill whales without philosophies, shared beliefs, religion, without language itself. In essemce, Melville may save the whales by making people aware of what they have formed, hoping that an invisible layer of skin may actually become visible.

Chad
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