Moby Dick or The Whale Summary by Herman Melville

Moby Dick; or, The Whale is written by an American author Herman Melville and was published in 1951. The name is this novel “Moby Dick” is a whale, this is a very long story it has approx more than 130 chapters and the author took approx eighteen months to write this novel. 

We have summarized this book because many people want to read this book but couldn’t because of the length of this novel. You guys can also read the ultimate quotes from the Moby Dick book.

Moby Dick or The Whale Summary by Herman Melville

Summary of “Moby Dick; or, The Whale” Novel:-

Call me Ishmael

The story starts with a very famous line “Call me Ishmael”. The narrator of this story is Ishmael. Earlier, he was a school teacher and now he became a sailor. Ishmael has one wish that he could get a chance to hunt a whale. Although he has gone on many sea voyages but didn’t go on a whale-hunting till now. 

Now he went to Massachusetts. Went inside a very crowded inn (hotel) in Massachusetts where he meets a person named Queequeg. His body was full of tattoos and because of occupancy, Ishmael had to be in the same room with Queequeg. Queequeg used to catch and kill whales with spears.  At first, Ishmael was scared of him but after some time they became friends, and the next morning they both went towards an island called Nantucket

They reached a ship named Pequod there they meet with another two guys Peleg and Bildad. They told that the owner of Pequod is Ahab. Ahab was a crazy and strange guy. After talking with Peleg and Bildad Ishmael got to know that Ahab doesn’t have one leg, Actually, a whale ate his leg, the name of that whale fish was Moby-Dick. It was a very big and terrible fish of white color and till now no one could catch it.

The Journey Begins

Even after listening to so many terrible things about that whale, Ishmael and Queequeg boarded the Ahab’s ship on the day of Christmas to continue their whale hunting journey. Before they left, A man on the port named Elijah did a prophecy that this journey will be horrible. 

Now, Ishmael is getting introduced to whale hunting and some other guys. The name of those guys is Starbuck, Stubb, and, Flask all these are very good whale hunters. Now that’s when Ahab comes on the deck of the ship, for the first time there is the entry of Ahab in this story. He said although we have just a normal ship our mission is very special we have to kill the Moby-Dick. Ahab has sworn that he will kill Moby-dick. Ahab also tells the staff working on the ship that I will give a gold coin to the one who sees the white whale first.

After hearing this, Starbuck says that Ahab has not come for any revenge, he has come only for profit. But Ahab has only one mission in life is to kill the fish that has eaten his leg. 

Sailing the Ship

While sailing in the ocean, they have met with many other ships, some of them are returning because of high tides, some of them came face to face with Moby-dick and faced huge losses. Then their ship reaches between the Indian and Pacific Ocean, meanwhile, they hunted many Whales, But there is only one fish in Ahab’s mind, that is Moby-Dick. 

Ahab continues the journey so that he can kill that whale. There was also a carpenter on the ship. Ahab asked him to make a new leg as his old leg was worn out. Along with Queequeg asks the carpenter to make him a coffin because he felt that he is ill and he is going to die very soon. 

Now, Ahab called a team of five people secretly. The leader of the team was Fedallah who was a very terrible man. These guys were from an unnamed country in Asia. These guys boarded the Pequod ship that they all can kill the Moby-Dick. Fedallah was a very dangerous man he was kind of a devil. 

Haunting the whale

Now their ship crossed Africa and after many days finally, these people went nearby to Japan. They had an idea that moby-dick was somewhere nearby. After meeting several ships, they finally got to see Moby-Dick. 

At first, Ahab sees the Moby-dick first and they follow the Whale for the next three days. There was also a black-smith on Pequod ship, Ahab asks him to make a new spear. Ahab makes the first attack with that new spear but that spear does not hit the whale, instead, it hits the small boat sailing on the side of the Pequod, on which Ahab’s men were aboard. The small boat capsizes and all the men on it swim to the Pequod ship. 

When Ahab tried to shoot the spear for the second time, the rope which was attached to the spear got stuck in Fedallah’s leg and drowned him in the water. Then Starbuck warned Ahab for the last time that we guys should leave this madness mission and go back. But Ahab did not listen to him and made a third attack on the whale but this time Ahab got stuck and somehow he also drowned and died. 

After this, Moby-Dick hit the ship and wrecked it and everybody drowned and died except Ishmael. Now there is a question that how Ishmael was able to save himself? When Queequeg asked that blacksmith to make a coffin for him but he died that time and with the help of that coffin Ishmael save himself from drowning. Then another ship spots him and saves his life. Later Ishmael narrates this story to everyone.

Wrapping Up

This was the summary of “Moby Dick; or, The Whale” novel if you liked it then don’t forget to share this on your social media handles and if you have any suggestions then please let us know by commenting down below.

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