At the beginning of the novel, the characters Ishmael and Queequeg are introduced. Ishmael is the narrator of the story. He is also a merchant seaman who signs up for a whaling voyage to see the world- and the only crewmember to survive and tell us the story. Queequeg is a tattooed cannibal from the South Seas. He is courageous, as well as kind-hearted. (Cavendish) After becoming friends with Ishmael, he also signs up for whaling and becomes a harpooner.
Melville chose to depict brotherhood as a symbol in a couple different ways. In the hotel room before boarding the Pequod, Ishmael and Queequeg share a room together, where they both sleep. One such morning when Ishmael awakes, he recalls:
How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts' honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg- a cozy, loving pair (Melville 68).
This closeness that Melville creates conveys that the relationship between these two characters is a close one.
In the chapter A Squeeze of the Hand, brotherhood is addressed yet again. The crewmembers of the Pequod cut the blubber out of the whales to make it liquid again. While their hands are in the blubber, they meet, as if everyone is...