This is Moby Dick Chapter 1: Loomings (summary).
Vocabulary Words found in this chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 1: Loomings (Vocabulary Words)

Some years ago, Ishmael1the name of the main character of this novel thought about sailing a little at sea. Whenever Ishmael feels gloomy and anxious, he goes to sea as soon as he can. According to him, it is his way to maintain good blood circulation. Also, he considers it as his substitute for guns. 

Whichever street you take in the city of Manhattoes, you’ll end up at the sea. And people are busy with their sea businesses in this city. From Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, a view from the White-hall is thousands of landsmen looking at the ocean. 

Manhattoes in Moby Dick Chapter 1 Summary.

And there are the people that sit wherever they can to get a sight of the ships at the sea. Some go ashore. While others, like the businessmen there on their own desks, do not have the intention of diving into the sea. And there we can see people coming to these businessmen to buy their own wants and needs.

Ishmael doesn’t want to be a passenger, nor a Commodore, nor a Captain, and nor being a Cook. Although he admits that he wants to be a Cook, he says that they don’t enjoy life very much.

Instead, he wants to become a sailor because sailors get paid and they earn money; while passengers just pay and earn none from getting aboard. Additionally, a sailor usually stands at the forecastle of a ship. He wanted to do that.

Moreover, for him, following the captain’s orders makes himself a slave. Unless his fellow shipmates do the same weight of responsibilities, then it would be fine for him. 

Finally, the reason Ishmael doesn’t want to become a Commodore is this: The sea offers wholesome exercises, and it gives that clean and pure air. But a Commodore does not benefit from that clean air since he’s always at the back of the ship. And thus, he breathes in the second-hand air from the sailors at the forecastle, who breathes in all the fresh air.

Now the stage managers, the Fates, have put Ishmael on a part of a whaling voyage at stage. That play was based on the Chief’s overwhelming ideas about a great whale at sea. At the end, this monster intrigued Ishmael. Thus, this inspired him to sail to forbidden seas and barbarous places.

End of Moby Dick Chapter 1: Loomings (summary).

Next Chapter: Chapter 2: The Carpet-Bag (summary)

3 Replies to “Moby Dick Chapter 1: Loomings (summary)”

    1. Hi. Yeah, I do. Actually, my family had watched it just a week ago on Netflix and they said that the story was like that of the novel “Moby Dick.” I actually Googled it and learned that ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ is a true story that inspired Melville to write “Moby Dick.” Upon learning that, I promised to myself that I’ll never watch the movie unless I’ve already finished reading and summarizing the whole book. So no spoilers haha!

  1. I haven’t read the book and haven’t watched the film.. I guess I need to start reading Moby dick before going to watch In the heart of the sea haha.

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