The captain of the Rachel factors into one of the most significant moments in the novel, as mentioned above.
De Deer is pathetic; having had no success he must beg Ahab for supplies and is last seen pursuing a whale his ship has neither the speed nor the equipment to effectively hunt. Although Moby Dick is often regarded, in the popular imagination, as a novel of interminable length, it is actually divided into rather short chapters—some of which are no longer than a couple paragraphs.
The Delight is another ship that claims to have tried to hunt Moby Dick, only to fail. He also receives destruction at the hands of his obsession, being tangled up and drowned in the harpoon lines attached to the great white whale.
Thus Moby Dick treats many of the scientific advances being made at this time—advances in biology that allowed for a more detailed understanding of whale anatomy, for example—without abandoning the philosophical and religious investigations so prominent in a country that, 80 years after its founding, was still dominated by Protestant Christian denominations in New England and parts of the Mid-Atlantic.
He believes his Christian faith offers a guide to the world, and that all questions can be answered through careful examination of his faith and the word of God.
The story has characters that are complex and thought-provoking, a few of the interesting characters are: Fedallah, Pip and Ahab. Historical Context of Moby-Dick The s were a time of political upheaval in the United States, which led, ultimately, to the breakout of the American Civil War in Once again Melville also uses this as an opportunity to poke fun at the whaling industry of another nation.
Returning to the ship he suffers from the realization that as a black person in Americahe has less value to the crew than the whales they hunt.