... middle of paper ...
...Ahab recognizes that, “[thou] has slept by many a sailor’s side, where sleepless mothers would give their lives to lay them down. Thou saw’st the locked lovers when leaping from their flaming ship...thou saw’st the murdered mate when tossed by pirates from the midnight deck,” which shows that the Captain is rather appreciative and slightly envious of the whale’s limitless powers of observation. Because the human body can only survive in certain conditions, it is impossible for people to witness the same things as creatures adapted for extreme environments, e.g. the ocean. There is power in this biological resilience which Captain Ahab perceives and describes in Chapter 70. In spite of mankind’s awful treatment of whales, they are recognized as being unlike any other animal; thus making their extraordinary traits proper cause for admiration, intimidation, and respect.
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