This is Moby Dick Chapter 7: The Chapel (summary)
Vocabulary Words found in this chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 7: The Chapel (Vocabulary Words)

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Returning from his first morning stroll, he again sallied out to the Whaleman’s Chapel. However, the weather had changed from a clear and unclouded sky, into a sleet and cold one. Upon entering the chapel, he found each silent worshiper, who seemed to purposely sit apart from each other. They were all in immense grief.

The chaplain has not arrived yet. Over there, women and men sat eyeing three marble tablets with the inscription of their loved ones’ names. Specifically, each tablet indicated the same cause for all their deaths: whale onslaught.

Women and men sat eyeing three marble tablets while crying in Moby Dick Chapter 7: The Chapel (summary)
Woman crying while eyeing a marble tablet.

Surprisingly, Queegqueg was there too, considering that he is not even a Christian. He also saw the tablets, but he wondered what that fuss was all about. This just hints that Queegqueg can’t read at all.

Now consider this: Many unrecorded accidents have already occurred at sea. And yet they are unknown to their loved ones at land. How pitiful that is! So how fortunate these people in the chapel are, who received the news about their dead loved ones, compared with the ones who didn’t!

At the end of this chapter, Ishmael shared his beliefs about divine protection and fate. He said that he trusts in fate, not in divine protection. And that fate, not of religion, but of realities of the natural world will determine whether he lives or dies at sea. Moreover, he strongly believes that whatever happens to him on this upcoming voyage, it will not affect his “immortal soul”.

End of Moby Dick Chapter 7: The Chapel (summary)

Next chapter: Chapter 8: The Pulpit (summary)

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