Study Guide

Moby-Dick Chapter 62: The Dart

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Chapter 62: The Dart

  • Ishmael explains why Stubb and Tashtego had to change places in Chapter 61: because the traditional arrangement is for the harpooneer to be pulling the oar in front and the headsman to be steering.
  • The harpooneer stops rowing to throw the first harpoon at the whale, and then he and the headsman change places so the headsman can finish off the whale by stabbing with a dart, the way Stubb did.
  • Ishmael thinks this is idiotic: one man, who never has to exhaust himself by rowing, should stay in the bow of the boat and do both the harpooning and the darting.

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