This is Moby Dick Chapter 33: The Specksynder (summary).
Vocabulary Words found in this chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 33: The Specksynder (Vocabulary Words)

Previous Chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 32: Cetology (summary)

In the old Dutch Fishery, the command of the whaleship does not simply belong to the captain. Rather, they’ve divided the power on the whaleship between the captain and an officer called the “Specksynder”. This name literally means “Fat Cutter”. They also call him “Chief Harpooneer”.

Moreover, the captain was responsible for navigation and the general management of the vessel; while the Specksynder’s role was in whale hunting. 

The British Greenland Fishery call him the “Specksioneer”. Sadly, they treat this official as only one of the senior harpooneers, which is under the captain. Nevertheless, the American Fishery still considers him equal to the captain. So, professionally, he somehow isolates himself from the crewmates as their superior. 

Nonetheless, that was the order a long time ago. And besides, the success of a whaling voyage doesn’t depend upon these matters. Instead, success depends on the good conduct of all harpooneers. 

An officer lives at the back of a ship; a harpooneer lives at the front side of that ship. But even though there is a difference, these men always eat at the captain’s cabin with their officers. Also, they live close with each other. That’s the reason why whaleships and merchant ships are so alike. 

But compared to merchant ships, whalemen depend on their profits and hardwork. Unlike merchants, they do not have a fixed wage. 

The captain of the Pequod, Ahab, is mostly moody. He has the implicit ability to make someone instantaneously obey his orders by uses of terror. But, he is by all means observant of all the dangers of the sea. 

Ishmael stated that even if a man is intelligent, he can never rule rightly without defenses in himself. Additionally, this superiority still makes those in high powers who make idiotic mistakes influential. For instance, Nicholas the Czar

Nicholas the Czar in Moby Dick Chapter 33 Summary.
Nicholas the Czar.

But talking about Emperors and Kings, Ahab cannot be considered like them. Yes, unlike them, he’s just poor who just wears shaggy clothes. Be warned, however, because he has not shown his true talents and intelligence yet. 

End of Moby Dick Chapter 33: The Specksynder (summary).

Next Chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 34: The Cabin-Table (summary)

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