Moby Dick Chapters 41-42 Summary and Analysis

Herman Melville

Chapters 41-42 Summary and Analysis

As encounters with Moby Dick become more frequent among whalers, rumors about him grow more fantastic. Some say he is ubiquitous, that he could be in two places at once. Others say that he is immortal. Many ascribe to the creature a kind of malignant intelligence.

Ishmael learns more about Ahab’s encounter with Moby Dick. His three boats stove in and his crew swirling in the eddies, Ahab futilely plunged a six-inch blade into the whales’s flank. It was then that Moby Dick took his leg in his great, crooked jaw.

Ahab’s madness came upon him during the homeward voyage. For months, he lay in his hammock, “his torn body and gashed soul bled into one another” and so made...

(The entire section is 486 words.)