Moby Dick


Discussion Questions

1. In what ways is Captain Ahab a charismatic man? How does he get his crew to join in his quest for Moby Dick, even though his mission is surrounded by a sense of doom from the beginning?

2. Moby Dick was not well received during Melville’s lifetime, but was rediscovered by critics and writers in the twentieth century and subsequently took its place in the canon of Western literature. What stylistic aspects of the novel might have made it difficult for its nineteenth-century audience to appreciate? In what ways might the novel be considered ahead of its time?

3. Compare and contrast the characters of Stubb and Starbuck. How do the two men view Ahab and the hunt for Moby Dick? Imagine that you are a member of the Pequod’s crew and discuss whether your own feelings would align more closely with Stubb’s or with Starbuck’s.

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