Why does Ishmael include so many digressions in his narrative? Why does he draw on so many other disciplines (geology, art, biology)? Choose one of these digressions (the chapter on “Cetology,” for example) and discuss the ways in which it comments on the main narrative.
Describe Ishmael’s method of narration. Is he reliable or unreliable as a narrator? Why is he the one to tell this story? What would the narrative have been like if Ahab were the narrator?