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Reading <em>Moby-Dick</em> at 30,000 Feet

Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet

by Tony Hoagland

Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

to hold your sharpened weapon high,

to see the glisten
of the beast beneath the waves. (45-47)

Even though he's imagining hunting a whale, there's still a sense of wonder and celebration of the animal, a real awe at its size and power. The wildness and adventure our speaker craves wouldn't be possible without the whale.

Quote #5

What a relief it would be

to hear someone in the crew
cry out like a gull. (48-50)

Want more proof that a big part of the appeal, for our speaker, is the connection to nature? Look at what the simile here does: it compares a crewman to a gull. The man's animal side can be expressed on the boat. Our speaker, sadly, doesn't feel that he can find a way to stand up on his seat cushion and express his more primal urges among his fellow airline passengers.

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