We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick

  

by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick Chapter 31: Queen Mab Summary

  • In the morning, Stubb tells Flask about a dream he had the night before. There’s no doubt that it could easily win a "weirdest whaling dream" contest: Stubb dreams that Ahab kicks him with his ivory/bone leg. Stubb tries to kick him back and his own leg comes off.
  • Ahab turns into a pyramid, which Stubb keeps kicking. (It doesn’t seem to matter that one of his legs has come off.)
  • In the dream, Stubb seems to realize that being kicked by a false leg is less of an insult than being kicked by a real one, because the false leg isn’t alive and narrows to a little point. (No, that doesn’t make any real sense, but that’s what he thinks in the dream.)
  • An old merman appears, grabs Stubb by the shoulders, and turns him around. Stubb decides not to kick the merman because the merman’s covered in spikes.
  • The merman tells Stubb to stop kicking Ahab (who is still a pyramid at this point) because it’s actually an honor to be kicked by a great man with an ivory leg—sort of like being slapped by a queen.
  • The merman swims off and Stubb wakes up.
  • Flask doesn’t think much of Stubb’s dream, but Stubb insists that it’s made him wise, and that now he knows to leave Ahab alone.
  • Ahab, meanwhile, calls up to the lookout that he’s spotted whales in the area, and that he’s especially interested in white whales.
  • Stubb can tell there’s something special going on with the whole white whale thing. Maybe he’s right…

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...