| Quote #1
Who are you to tell me what I'm to do. I tell you I'm captain of the ship—Captain and Owner. I'm the law here, I tell you—the law and the prophets. (3.33)
Captain Davis points out he makes the rules on the ship, and he does so by making himself into a prophet, adding a religious implication to his boast. Talk about ego.
| Quote #2
They swayed their heads and shoulders from side to side. The speaker's words came thick and sloppy, and though I could hear them distinctly I could not distinguish what he said. He seemed to me to be reciting some complicated gibberish. Presently his articulation became shriller, and spreading his hands he rose to his feet. (9.9)
These Beast Folk could simply recite the rules, but that would be too easy. Instead, they have a religious ceremony full of pomp and circumstance to pass them on. And there are rules about how the ceremony is performed. So, like human society, there are rules governing the rules. Kind of hurts your head thinking about it, huh?
| Quote #3
I realised I had to repeat this idiotic formula. And then began the insanest ceremony. (12.17)
All ceremonies have rules that must be followed. When it's your ceremony, you think it's perfectly natural. When it's someone else's, it can seem, well, insane. Or at the very least confusing. Ever been at a friend's house when they celebrated a holiday that wasn't part of your upbringing? Then you totally know the drill.