Study Guide

Moby-Dick Chapter 23: The Lee Shore

By Herman Melville

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Chapter 23: The Lee Shore

  • Ishmael reminds the reader about the man he saw in the inn at New Bedford named Bulkington (you remember, the least rowdy Grampus crew member, way back in New Bedford?).
  • Now he looks upon the Pequod and sees a vision of Bulkington at the helm.
  • He’s amazed that a man who just came back from a four-year voyage would immediately set off on another voyage for three years.
  • Ishmael explains: "this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington" (23.2). Bulkington’s not dead, but we’re not going to hear any more about him in the novel.
  • Ishmael uses Bulkington as a means to think about the safety of port and land versus the thrilling danger of landlessness, and then dismisses Bulkington forever.

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