Study Guide

Moby-Dick Chapter 67: Cutting In

By Herman Melville

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Chapter 67: Cutting In

  • The next morning, everyone on the ship works together to start butchering the whale, even though it’s Sunday and should be a day of rest.
  • First, of course, they have to haul the whale carcass up and over the side of the ship and onto the deck. This is a complex and difficult process involving a huge pulley system, a giant hook, and everyone tugging a rope.
  • Once the whale is hoisted up out of the water (causing the ship to lean crazily to one side), Starbuck and Stubb cut the blubber off of it in one long strip.
  • As the blubber comes off (and the whale’s weight decreases), they’re able to haul it higher and higher, until it’s suspended from the main-top.
  • One of the harpooneers moves toward the bloody, swaying carcass and attaches another hook to the strip of blubber. Then he cuts the two apart so that the "blanket-piece" of blubber is hanging separately from the rest of the carcass.
  • The blubber is lowered into a special compartment called the "blubber-room" below decks. Ugh. What a name.

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