Moby Dick

write the character sketch of ishmael?

take some points from chapter 1

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours


Ishmael is the narrator of the novel, a simple sailor on the Pequod who undertakes the journey because of his affection for the ocean and his need to go sea whenever he feels "hazy about the eyes." As the narrator Ishmael establishes him as somewhat of a cipher and an everyman, and in fact his role in the plot of the novel is inconsequential; his primary task is to observe the conflicts around him. Nevertheless, Melville does give his narrator several significant character traits, the most important of which is his idealization of the Sperm Whale and his belief in its majesty. Also, it is Ishmael who has the only significant personal relationship in the novel; he becomes a close friend with the pagan harpooner Queequeg and comes to cherish and adore Queequeg to a somewhat improbable level open to great interpretation; Melville even describes their relationship in terms of a marriage. Ishmael is the only survivor of the Pequod's voyage, living to tell the tale of Moby Dick only because he is by chance on a whaling boat when Moby Dick sinks the Pequod and is rescued by a nearby ship.