Moby Dick Chapters 72-78 Questions and Answers

Herman Melville

Chapters 72-78 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is the function of the monkey rope?

2. To whom is it attached?

3. Why were the men surprised that Ahab wanted them to hunt a right whale?

4. What was his reason?

5. How does Ishmael interpret the expressions on the whales?

6. To what does Ishmael compare the sperm whale’s forehead?

7. What was Tashtego doing when he fell into the head?

8. How was he saved and by whom?

9. To what was his release from the head compared?

10. If Tashtego had died, why would it have been a very “precious perishing”?

Answers
1. The rope is a safety line for the man who stands on the carcass to attach the blubber hook.

2. Queequeg is attached to the end on the whale; Ishmael is attached to the end on deck.

3. The right whale is not valuable.

4. Fedallah told him a ship with a right whale head on one side and a sperm whale head on the other will not sink.

5. The sperm whale’s expression shows his indifference to death. The right whale’s shows his “practical resolution.”

6. The sperm whale’s forehead is like a battering ram.

7. Tashtego was up on a yardarm lowering a bucket down into the part of the head containing the spermaceti.

8. Queequeg dived in the water, cut a hole in the head, and pulled him out.

9. Queequeg pulled him out as if he were delivering a baby.

10. Tashtego would have drowned in the precious, fragrant spermaceti.