Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reading Period 6: October 1-7: The Shark Well-Governed

Hey-oh! Just a regular grey whale. Nothing to see here.
Long Read: 


Must Read: 60-61, 64, 66-67, 69-70, 72, 78, 87-88.
May Skip: 62-63, 65, 68, 71, 73-77, 79-86.

If you like audio books, and would like to try listening to some of Moby-Dick, I highly recommend the one narrated by Frank Muller. I've read this book many times, and listening to this version really gives it a different flavor. Particularly chapter 61 and 64, assigned for this week, are good to listen to with the different accents and inflections. Check it out if you have an membership, or get it pretty cheaply on iTunes.

Short Read: 

The Constitution of the United States

Read it. It's your duty as a citizen of the USA. And it's not that long. Surprisingly short really. If you're feeling particularly citizen-ish, you can click through to the Bill of Rights.


"Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant, AIAL p 153.
"And You As Well Must Die, Beloved Dust" by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
"O Death" American Folk Song. This version is by Ralph Stanley, here's a video:

Google Fu:

This week we're reading the Constitution of the USA. I gave you a link, above, to the text where you can read it. But is this site reliable? I intentionally chose a site that has advertising, sells products, and links to online auctions. Does that mean you can't trust its information? I want you to find a better link, a more reliable site than the one linked above, where you can find an official version of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Post your link along with a defense of why you think your link is better than mine.


Your note-taking assignment this week is to write a one page summary of the article I read to you in class, covering the history of the song "Yankee Doodle." Use only your notes to refresh your memory of the content. Use lots of impressive details and specifics, but don't go over one page. If you're typing, that's about 250 words. Please email these to me, instead of posting them publicly, so everyone has a chance to search their own memory and notes for details.

Creative Assignment: 

Read the chapter, "The Jeroboam's Story," (71). Knowing what you know of Macey, the chief mate of the Jeroboam, write what you think might have been in the letter from Macey's wife.


Read the chapter, "The Monkey-rope," (72). Create an illustration of another situation in which two humans are bound together in this way -- one depending on the other for safety, while the second must keep the first safe for his own survival. You can interpret safety and survival as physical or emotional, metaphorical, whatever. Melville's note on this chapter may not be printed in your edition, but here it is: "The monkey-rope is found in all whalers; but it was only in the Pequod that the monkey and his holder were ever tied together. This improvement on the original usage was introduced by no less a man than Stubb, in order to afford to the imperilled harpooneer the strongest possible guarantee for the faithfulness and vigilance of his monkey-rope holder."

Twitter Scholar:

Watch this one minute video about Emoji Dick, a version of Moby-Dick written entirely in emoji cartoons and recognized as art by the Library of Congress. After you watch the video, Tweet your thoughts about it, including a link to the video. You can either copy/paste the URL into your Tweet or use the "Share" links below the video. Also try using the hashtag #emojidick to see what others are saying about it.


You'll notice there's a new tab up at the top of the page! That's right, it's time to start firing up your essay-writing machine. Read the whole page and post to the Google+ community if you have any questions. Your assignment this week is to choose your topic. Who will you defend as a "true American"? Stake your claim on Google+.


1. In the final paragraph of "The Line," Ishmael compares the coiled line to the calm before a storm. This is an example of what literary device?
2. What literary device is in use here: " Queequeg it was quite a different object."?
3. What metaphor does Melville employ to describe Stubb's killing blow with the lance?
4. What complaint does Stubb have about his whale steak?
5. Summarize the part of Fleece's sermon to the sharks that Stubb refers to when he says, "That's Christianity."
6. Given the context, how do you interpret Queequeg's remark at the end of chapter 66? What does "one dam Ingin" mean, in your opinion?
7. What is "cutting in"?
8. Read this line from Ahab at the end of the chapter "The Sphynx": "O Nature, and O soul of man! how far beyond all utterance are your lnked analogies! not the smallest atom stirs or lives in matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind." What other chapter in the assigned reading does this quote remind you of? Hint: It might be after this chapter, not before.
9. What does the Dough-Boy try to give Queequeg to drink after his run-in with the sharks, and what becomes of this drink after Stubb gets his way?
10. Who does Queequeg rescue in chapter 78, and what other episode of the novel does this event remind you of?
11. What geographical area has the Pequod now reached, in chapter 87?
12. How is a lone whale like Daniel Boone, as Ishmael says in chapter 88?

BONUS: What has happened to the mother and baby sperm whales toward the end of chapter 87? How are they connected?

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