On Melville

To commemorate the bicentennial of Herman Melville’s birth (1819), Mouse presents excerpts from his masterpiece, Moby-Dick, which endures as a major work of world literature because of its depiction of an individual who grapples with the ultimate questions of life, death, and the soul, amid a backdrop of greed and environmental slaughter. The chapters collected here reveal key characters at moments of change and crisis, exhibiting many of the main themes of the book.

Volume 1

The narrator Ishmael encounters his new companion Queequeg. They bond over their distinct differences, and vow to accompany each other on the upcoming whaling voyage.

Volume 2

These chapters introduce Captain Ahab and his singular obsession, along with various crew members’ reaction to his surprising plan.

Volume 3

Who is Moby-Dick for Ahab? Much more than a whale, for sure. How far will Ahab go in his quest, and how much will his crew tolerate?