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Queequeg is a harpooner from New Zealand, the son of a king who renounces the throne in order to travel the world on whaling ships and learn about Christian society. Ishmael meets Queequeg when the two must share a bed at the Spouter Inn in New Bedford before journeying to Nantucket to undertake the journey on the Pequod. Melville portrays Queequeg as a blend of civilized behavior and savagery. Certainly in his appearance and upbringing he is uncivilized by the standards of the main characters of the novel, yet Melville (through his narrator Ishmael) finds Queequeg to be incredibly noble, courteous and brave. 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.