Chapters 52-54 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Why does the Albatross have a spectral appearance?

2. What was the “ominous incident” that occurred when the Pequod met the Albatross?

3. Why was Ahab bothered by the fish swimming away from his ship to follow the Albatross?

4. What is a gam?

5. When a captain is being rowed to another boat for a gamming, why is his position precarious?

6. What is the frame in which the Town-Ho’s story is told?

7. When did the incident involving Radney and Steelkilt occur?

8. What was the source of Radney’s hatred of Steelkilt?

9. What role did Moby Dick play in their conflict?

10. Why was the Town-Ho manned by Polynesians when it gammed with the Pequod?

Answers
1. The ship has been at sea for four years.

2. The captain of the Albatross dropped his speaking horn into the ocean when Ahab asked about Moby Dick.

3. Ahab felt as if the fish were turning from him personally.

4. A gam is a meeting of two whale ships whose crews visit and exchange letters, papers, and whaling news.

5. The captain must stand and keep his balance while the sea pitches the boat and the oars hit him in the knees and back.

6. Ishmael tells the story in an inn in Lima.

7. The incident took place two years earlier.

8. Although Radney was in command, Steelkilt was the superior man.

9. Moby Dick killed Radney before Steelkilt had a chance.

10. The crew deserted the Town-Ho when it reached an island port, and the captain had to man it with Polynesians.

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Chapters 48-51 Questions and Answers

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Chapters 55-60 Questions and Answers