Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet
How we cite our quotes:
until you had forgotten
that such a thing as doors exist. (38-39)
This seems like the worst possibility. That we could even forget there's such a thing as a way out, or another way of living in which we feel alive and connected to the world and to our emotions.
Better to be on board the Pequod,
with a mad one-legged captain
living for revenge. (40-42)
Even the dangers that come with having a mad captain seem to be part of the appeal of living on the whaling boat. Maybe it's like seeing the whale die in front of you: facing the threat of death by taking on a dangerous voyage might make us (our speaker supposes) feel more alive and connected. What our speaker seems to fear most is dying in that century-room, having never got out into the world.