Ahab The "grand, ungodly, god-like man" is a deeply complex figure, one of the most controversial in American literature. His monomaniacal hunt for Moby Dick dominates the novel's plot. Moby Dick The giant sperm whale seems to manipulate his confrontations with mankind in a manner beyond the capacity of a leviathan. Critics debate the nature of Moby Dick: Queequeg The Polynesian harpooner who opens Ishmael's mind and eventually — and indirectly — saves his life. Queequeg is important to the theme of friendship and the value of diversity.
Chapters 1—9 Chapter 1: Chapter 2: He arrives too late to catch the ferry to Nantucket, the original whaling center of New England; for the sake of tradition, Ishmael wants to sail in a Nantucket whaler. For now, however, he has to spend a few nights in New Bedford. He roams the streets looking for an inn, but those that he finds seem too expensive. The ominous name of the inn and the owner satisfy his mood, and the place is dilapidated and sure to be cheap. Chapter 3:
Main article: Queequeg The harpooneers of the Pequod are all non-Christians from various parts of the world. Each serves on a mate's boat. Queequeg hails from the fictional island of Rokovoko in the South Seas, inhabited by a cannibal tribe, and is the son of the chief of his tribe.
Read an in-depth analysis of Moby Dick. He is a Quaker who believes that Christianity offers a way to interpret the world around him, although he is not dogmatic or pushy about his beliefs. Queequeg was once a prince from a South Sea island who stowed away on a whaling ship in search of adventure. Stubb, chiefly characterized by his mischievous good humor, is easygoing and popular.