Madness Pip to live in his cabin for the

Madness is
defined as the “mental delusion or the eccentric behavior arising from it”. In
the novel, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Captain Ahab fully suits the
definition of madness. After losing his leg to the great whale, Moby Dick he
developed a vigorous appetite to seek vengeance and kill the great whale, for
not only taking his leg but his humanity and stature.  Emily Dickson wrote “much madness is divinest
Sense-To a discerning eye- “meaning that madness is the most profound kind of
sanity when view by someone with good judgement. When Ahab’s madness is looked
at through a “discerning eye”, it becomes acceptable for him to desire revenge
on the evil that took his status away. As the crew’s voyage moved along, Ahab
realizes that Pip, a young boy who is a sailor on the Pequod, is very similar
to himself. Pip has the same problem as Ahab, they are both contained with
madness. But the difference between them is “one is
daft with strength, the other daft with weakness”, Pip is very weak while
Ahab is driven with strength, making their madness’s differ. (567)

is a very weak young boy with a madness of his own. When one of Stubb’s men
gets hurt, Pip is assigned as an oarsman on his boat. Unfortunately, Pip
doesn’t have the tendency for whaling, as a whale slams into their boat, he
jumps out of it from fear. After he spends some time in the sea alone, “the sea
had… drowned the infinite of his soul”, he becomes crazy because of fear and “he
saw God’s foot”. He discovered painful thoughts and visions that made him
insane and “therefore his shipmates called him mad” (454). Ahab feels kinship
after he witness this terrifying event so he invites Pip to live in his cabin
for the rest of the voyage. But Pip begins to be attached to Ahab. Pips weak presence
seems to weaken Ahab. In Chapter 129- The Cabin, Pip follows Ahab but he tells
him “must not follow Ahab now” because “in that poor lad, which I feel too
curing to my malady” (580). Malady means sickness, so Ahab is referring to his
madness towards the White Whale, so Ahab is saying that Pips speech and manner
make him doubt his own sinister purpose of being there, or in other words to
kill the White Whale. After Ahab leaves Pip behind, Pip sobs the loss of
himself and Ahab’s company, and states “I’m alone” (581). Pips madness is
centered around the whole idea of abandonment. After being left alone in the
ocean by himself he becomes crazy and never wants to be left alone. Through everyone’s
eyes his madness is clearly seen and his character is definitely defined as
being weak and fragile.

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Ahab’s madness is
very strong because he cannot control it until it gets what it wants.  The
monomaniacal captain of the Pequod obsesses over catching the White Whale. In
the chapter, the doubloon, Ahab examines the coin and he states that he sees
himself. According to the quote, “like magician’s glass, to each and every man
in turn but mirrors back his own mysterious self” (147), Ahab thinks the coin
is like a mirror to his soul. As he is looking at the coin, he says it has
“three peaks as proud as Lucifer” (471). Ahab’s explains that the firm tower,
the volcano and the courageous fowl is all him. He is stating that he is a very
brave and a strong man who is ranked higher than everyone on the ship. Ahab’s
character becomes clear that he is a very angry, selfish, and independent man because
of his accident with Moby Dick it caused him his dignity and status of being a
human. During the voyage, he sees himself as he can’t in any way be touched or
stopped, “there is one god that is Lord over the earth, and one Captain that is
Lord over the Pequod” (517). In the chapter 100, a gam occurred between the
Pequod and the Samuel Enderby. The significance of it was the two contrasts of
the captain’s attitudes from both ships regarding Moby Dick. Ahab boards their
ship and asks the captain “Hast seen the White Whale” (476), Captain Boomer of
the Samuel Enderby explains to him that he lost his arm while fighting Moby
Dick. He was injured by a dangling harpoon that was attached to Moby Dick. He
tells Ahab that they encountered Moby Dick again but after Captain Boomer
learned his lesson, he had no desire on fighting the whale again. As both of
these captains have similarities, there is one big difference between them. The
ought to seek revenge on the White Whale. While everyone else does not want to encounter
the White Whale, especially a second time, Ahab’s madness over powers him to
continue his vengeance. As the book went on and Ahab became emotionally
attached to Pip, Ahab begins to show little flashes of being sensible. In
chapter 132, The Symphony, Ahab was keeping watch on the deck and he “dropped a
tear into the sea”, he talks to Starbuck about his life and how he’s been
whaling all of his life and how he abandoned his family because of it. In Starbucks
expression, he “see my wife and my child in thine eye” so Ahab orders Starbuck
to stay on board when they fight Moby Dick (591). Starbuck tries to convince
that he should stop this silly revenge plan and go home. Ahab’s monomaniac mind
takes over and his “remorseless emperor commands Ahab” to continue on his
path to the whale (592). Ahab’s madness is built with strength, he cannot
control it and its taking over his soul.



Ahab and his dare Pip are both brimming with
insanity. Ahab’s nonsense is constructed with driven and toughness. Throughout
the book, he was driven to get the White Whale, he did not care about anything
else. And poor Pip, his madness is because of being abandoned and lonely making
him very weak. As Ahab and Pip become close to each other near the end of the