Hull of the Pequod was in Moby-Dick

sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
Melville also felt the brutal power of the Calvinistic Jehovah with special keenness: human beings were “god-bullied” even as the hull of the Pequod was in Moby-Dick, and the best way people had of demonstrating their own divinity lay in defying the omnipotent tyrant.

Source: American Literature (1820-1865) ; Immigrants and Xenophobia

Hi,

The red sentence (as the hull of the Pequod was in Moby-Dick) makes me confused.
Hull: the main part of a ship that goes in the water.

I mean: the hull of the Pequod was (what?) in Moby-Dick

Many thanks in advance.
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The Pequod is the name of Captain Ahab's ship, so it's central to Moby-Dick, in the same way as the idea that humans are 'god-bullied' is central to Melville's sensibilities.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I read it to mean that humans are 'god-bullied', ie ravaged and worn, in the same way as the hull of the Pequod was in Moby Dick.

    Melville described the ship: 'She was a ship of the old school, rather small if anything; with an old fashioned claw-footed look about her. Long seasoned and weather-stained in the typhoons and calms of all four oceans, her old hull's complexion was darkened like a French grenadier's, who has alike fought in Egypt and Siberia. Her venerable bows looked bearded . . . '

    Just a thought . . .
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I believe it was Ahab's own expression that the hull of the Pequod was "god-bullied". There was some kind of identification of the whale with God in Moby Dick, I think. I never managed to read very far into that book, but the above quote seems to me to mean that Melville's idea of God as a brutal bullying power is paralleled by the idea of the whale brutally bullying the hull of the ship.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Thank you Thomas Tompion.
    Thank you Heypresto.
    Thank you Velisarius.

    Thanks for your prompt and helpful answer.
     
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