Moby Dick Chapters 82-86 Summary and Analysis

Herman Melville

Chapters 82-86 Summary and Analysis

Ishmael names “demi-gods, heroes, and prophets” who have been whalers: among them, Perseus, St. George, Hercules, Vishnu, and Jonah.

Not long after the Jungfrau episode, whales are spotted. The chase requires the use of the pitchpole, a 10- to 12-foot lance much lighter than a harpoon. The pitchpole can be thrown some distance to pierce the whale and then pulled back by a line and thrown again and again. Tashtego plants his iron in a whale, but the whale continues its fleet flight. The pitchpole is used to slow it down, and then it is caught.

Ishmael continues his speculations about the whale’s physiology. He tells us he is writing this particular passage on...

(The entire section is 437 words.)