This is Moby Dick Chapter 28: Ahab (summary).
Vocabulary Words found in this chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 28: Ahab (Vocabulary Words)

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After several days since they left Nantucket, they still haven’t seen any sign of Captain Ahab. The crewmates seem to be the only commanders of the ship. But their dictator was just in the cabin and stayed there unseen.

Every time Ishmael goes up to the deck, he immediately looks around to see if he could spot any strange face. Because of what the whimsical prophet Elijah has told Ishmael about Ahab, he became uneasy, anxious, and disturbed upon the mysterious captain.

But seeing the three chief officers and the crew made Ishmael cheerful, confident, and calm. Time goes by as their ship escapes the merciless winter from the latitude of Nantucket. As soon as Ishmael glanced at the taffrail from the top deck on his forenoon watch, Captain Ahab stood upon his quarter-deck. 

There seemed to be no sign of physical illness or recovery from any for him. Instead, his whole body seemed to be made of solid bronze, like “Cellini’s cast Perseus.”

“Cellini’s cast Perseus”; Cellini’s sculpture of Perseus with the head of Medusa in Moby Dick Chapter 28 Summary
“Cellini’s cast Perseus”; Cellini’s sculpture of Perseus with the head of Medusa

Additionally, he had this mark from his face down to his neck until it disappeared under his clothing; like a tall tree branded from the top down to its roots by a lightning bolt, without wilting it. 

But to know whether it’s just his birthmark or if it’s a result of a severe wound, no one could confirm. However, Tashtego assumes that Ahab (his former senior) got it when he fought against the elements of the sea when he turned forty.

Yet a grey Manxman insinuated that Tashtego was wrong. Note that this old man has never sailed out of Nantucket and he has never seen Ahab at all. Nonetheless, many people had popularly invested this old Manxman with extraordinary insight, which then suggests that what he said about Ahab might be true. 

This fierceness of Captain Ahab really struck Ishmael. He noticed the polished bone of the sperm-whale’s jaw that Ahab had for his ivory leg.

Upon each side of the Pequod’s quarter-deck, there’s a half-inch hole on the plank and Ahab’s bone leg steadied in a hole. As he was holding by a shroud, he looked straight out beyond the ship’s prow. And because he had this determinate, fearless, and unsurrendable look, it made the crew feel uneasy; considering that he didn’t even say a word. 

Shortly, he went back into his cabin. But after that morning, he was now always outside that cabin everyday. As the weather had grown more friendly, little by little did Ahab become less isolated, too. But since there was nothing to excite Ahab for now, it seems that there is no need for him, for now

As the weather becomes more and more pleasant, Ahab’s mood also becomes further charming; it makes him want to smile even just a little.

End of Moby Dick Chapter 28: Ahab (summary).

Next Chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 29: Enter Ahab; to Him, Stubb (summary)

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