Moby Dick: Chapter 100

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Chapter 100, “A Leg and an Arm: The Pequod Meets the Samuel Enderby of London”
 
Summary
The Pequod meets an English whaler, and there is a gam. The Samuel Enderby has seen Moby Dick, but Captain Boomer holds up an ivory arm that matches Ahab’s leg. He lost it to the whale. Ahab lowers a boat to go to the other ship, but has to be hauled aboard, since he can’t walk up the ladder. The captains cross their whale bone limbs. The English whaler saw Moby Dick at the equator (the Line) and left two harpoons in him, but he took off the captain’s arm, so they let him go. Ahab quickly sets off in pursuit.
 
 
Analysis
The two captains have been maimed by the White Whale but have different reactions, one sane, and one insane. Captain Boomer doesn’t seem to blame the whale; it’s all in the danger of his profession. He calls Moby Dick “an old great-grandfather” of a whale, a very different image than Ahab’s white devil.  Boomer says he has no desire to tangle with him again; once is enough. The ship’s doctor says Moby Dick is not full of malice; he’s just “awkward.” Ahab does not agree about staying away from the White Whale: “He’s all magnet” (100. 437).
 
 

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