Moby Dick

On what basis does ishmael justify hypothetically deifying the sperm whale

chapters 78 and 79

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Did you mean "defining" the whale?

no its deifying

Once again Melville and Ishmael exalt the Sperm Whale for its ability to resist definition; in its "pyramidical" silence, the whale does nothing to offer itself for interpretation or to prove its genius, but rather stands as a monument to its own greatness. Melville continues to describe the whale as a thing that is unnaturally made, with the comparisons to the pyramids and other constructed objects.