Joining the Pequod

Chapter 11 – Nightgown
Ishmael and Queequeg are becoming quite affable as they are still sharing a bed, and now they share the pipe.

Chapter 12 – Biographical
While enjoying this intimate time together in the middle of the night, Queequeg shares his story with Ishmael: he comes from royal blood, his father being a High Chief; yet, he desired to visit Christian lands and learn their ways and went aboard a ship that had visited his island.  Once on board, he lived the life of a whaler and learned that even [Christians] could be like heathens – (because they probably were!)  He may return someday to his people, but today he is a whaler.

Chapter 13 – Wheelbarrow
The two friends use wheelbarrow to carry their things to the wharf to board a schooner for Nantucket, and everyone stares at the odd couple.  On board, a bumpkin makes fun of Queequeg, who physically admonitions the man, but when the weather causes the rigging to snap, the man is thrown overboard; Queequeg is quick to act by salvaging the ropes, saving the ship, and then jumping in after the man and helping him as well.

Chapter 14 – Nantucket
After arriving in Nantucket, Ishmael gives a description of the place as a sea town, which owns two thirds of the globe: “For the sea is his, he owns it…”

Chapter 15 – Chowder
While there, Ishmael and Queequeg visit the Try-tops for chowder.  Everything tastes and looks like the sea!

Chapter 16 – The Ship
As Queequeg fasts and meditates in his idolatrous ceremony, Ishmael heads out to choose a whaling ship to sail with: the Pequod, and meets the ship’s owners: Captain Peleg and Captain Bildad.  But he is yet to meet Captain Ahab: the one-legged “grand, ungodly, god-like man.”

Chapter 17 – Ramadan
Ishmael, after giving enough reverence for his friend’s religious practice, returns to him, whom he believes should be finished; but there is no answer, and the door is locked.  He seeks assistance to open the door, and there is Queequeg still meditating, which upsets Ishmael enough to discuss with him how foolish and unnatural it is to practice fasting and other religious oddities for so long, to probably no avail.


  1. WOW!
    I just found you and am so excited! I too have been on a quest to find the classical education I never got.
    Off to spread the word about you!

  2. Thanks, Heather. Are you looking into The Well-Educated Mind?

  3. Yep, I own it but only flipped around. I need to go back to that and The Trivium. I just got the Baker biography of The Brontës--we start Jane Eyre next on the podcast--and that tome will keep me busy for a bit.