Moby Dick

p.17 'He was not quite a caterpillar not yet a butterfly'

Find the following extracts from chapter 3 and discuss their meanings.

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Ishmael is describing Queequeg. Ishmael is trying to define Queequeg as illusive while he puts on his boots. Melville uses Queequeg as a character in perpetual transition: from savagery to civilization, and in the final chapters after he suffers from an illness from which he wills himself recovered, in an uneasy stasis between life and death. The relationship between Queequeg and Ishmael is the most intimate of the novel, as the two become close companions.