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In Melville's novel 'Moby Dick' who is the voice of reason?

Question #45289. Asked by Orangruffy.

Answer has 3 votes
Currently Best Answer
24 year member
41 replies

Answer has 3 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Starbuck, the sole voice of reason among the officers, is motivated by superstition as well, albeit of a more conventional kind. A devout Christian, he tells Ahab that "to seek vengeance on a dumb thing is blasphemous." He's afraid that Ahab has sold his soul to the almost frighteningly competent team of Japanese whalers that the captain has hired to help hunt Moby Dick. Starbuck is concerned about the money they are losing -- how will the crew survive back on land without a share of profit? And yet Starbuck is also paralyzed by his religious beliefs, which won't allow him to defy the man who commands him, even though "God has shipwrecked his soul." He plans several times to kill Ahab.

Mar 15 2004, 9:42 AM
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