by Herman Melville
Character Role Analysis
Early in the novel, Ishmael, discovering that Queequeg is an experienced harpooneer, adopts him as a mentor in addition to best friend/bosom companion. Ishmael is only too ready to let Queequeg tell him everything Ishmael needs to know, and he’s a bit surprised (and disappointed) when Queequeg announces that his god Yojo has determined that Ishmael should choose the ship for their voyage. Even though Ishmael wants to cast Queequeg as his guide, Queequeg resists the role.