Moby-Dick Chapter 93: The Castaway Summary
- A few days after the Pequod meets the Rose-bud, something happens to the little black boy Pip, whom you might remember as the tambourine-player in Chapter 40.
- Pip and Dough-Boy look relatively similar, except for their different skin colors, but Pip is a much jollier, in-love-with-life, sparkling young man.
- Unfortunately, being on the whaling voyage seems to dampen his enthusiasm a bit – and it’s going to affect him even more before the end of the story, Ishmael hints.
- In the affair of the ambergris, one of Stubb’s oarsmen strains his hand, and so Stubb enlists Pip as a substitute rower for a while.
- Pip does OK the first time he goes out in the boat, although Stubb can tell he’s not very brave.
- The second time Pip goes out, Tashtego harpoons a whale, and the whale strikes the boat right under Pip’s seat.
- Pip freaks out and jumps out of the boat, getting himself so entangled in the line that it looks like he’s going to be strangled in the water.
- Tashtego and Stubb are forced to cut the line to save Pip and the whale escapes.
- All the sailors curse Pip’s foolishness.
- Stubb tries to explain to Pip when it’s okay to abandon the boat, but he gives up and just orders Pip to stay in the boat no matter what.
- He reminds Pip that the whale is worth more than Pip would be if sold as a slave in the South.
- Unfortunately, next time Pip goes out in the boat, he leaps out again, although this time he doesn’t get tangled up in the line.
- Stubb and Tashtego ignore Pip and keep pursuing the whale, leaving Pip stranded in the middle of the ocean.
- Stubb didn’t really mean to endanger Pip’s life – he assumed that one of the other boats, which were behind, would pick him up – but those boats sight other whales and go after them.
- The Pequod itself rescues Pip, merely by chance, and he’s never the same again.