Moby Dick Chapters 2-4 Summary and Analysis

Herman Melville

Chapters 2-4 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Peter Coffin: the owner of the Spouter Inn

Bulkington: a whaler in the Spouter Inn just returned from a
voyage

Queequeg: a pagan harpooner with whom Ishmael must share a bed

Summary
Ishmael stays over in New Bedford, waiting for a packet to take him to Nantucket. He searches the cold, dark streets for a place to stay. After accidentally going into a “Negro church,” he comes upon a sign, “The Spouter Inn:—Peter Coffin.”

The entryway of the inn reminds Ishmael of a “condemned old craft.” Dominating the scene is a large, enigmatic oil painting, which Ishmael interprets as a “half-foundered” ship in a...

(The entire section is 591 words.)