Melville's "Moby Dick," Ch's 22-31 30 words

"Moby Dick" is about Captain Ahab and a whale, but it is also about the single-minded pursuit of one thing at the expense of everything else, and the consequences of such a pursuit.

Here are all of our word lists for the novel: Ch's 1-9, Ch's 10-21, Ch's 22-31, Ch's 32-40, Ch's 41-47, Ch's 48-54, Ch's 55-65, Ch's 66-73, Ch's 74-81, Ch's 82-92, Ch's 93-101, Ch's 102-114, Ch's 115-125, Ch's 126-132, and Ch's 133-Epilogue
  1. berth
    a bed on a ship or train; usually in tiers
    Nevertheless, not three days previous, Bildad had told them that no profane songs would be allowed on board the Pequod, particularly in getting under weigh; and Charity, his sister, had placed a small choice copy of Watts in each seaman's berth.
  2. pious
    having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity
    I was comforting myself, however, with the thought that in pious Bildad might be found some salvation, spite of his seven hundred and seventy-seventh lay; when I felt a sudden sharp poke in my rear, and turning round, was horrified at the apparition of Captain Peleg in the act of withdrawing his leg from my immediate vicinity.
  3. imperturbable
    not easily perturbed or excited or upset; marked by extreme calm and composure
    And so saying, he moved along the windlass, here and there using his leg very freely, while imperturbable Bildad kept leading off with his psalmody.
  4. bulwark
    an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes
    The long rows of teeth on the bulwarks glistened in the moonlight; and like the white ivory tusks of some huge elephant, vast curving icicles depended from the bows.
  5. palaver
    speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
    'Come, come, Captain Bildad; stop palavering, -- away!' and with that, Peleg hurried him over the side, and both dropt into the boat.
  6. succor
    help in a difficult situation
    The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that's kind to our mortalities.
  7. intrepid
    invulnerable to fear or intimidation
    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?
  8. craven
    lacking even the rudiments of courage; abjectly fearful
    For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land!
  9. demigod
    a person with great powers and abilities
    Bear thee grimly, demigod!
  10. apotheosis
    model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal
    Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing -- straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!
  11. superfluous
    more than is needed, desired, or required
    In the first place, it may be deemed almost superfluous to establish the fact, that among people at large, the business of whaling is not accounted on a level with what are called the liberal professions.
  12. plaudit
    enthusiastic approval
    But even granting the charge in question to be true; what disordered slippery decks of a whale-ship are comparable to the unspeakable carrion of those battle-fields from which so many soldiers return to drink in all ladies' plaudits?
  13. puissant
    powerful
    How comes all this, if there be not something puissant in whaling?
  14. ruminate
    reflect deeply on a subject
    Much might be ruminated here, concerning the essential dignity of this regal process, because in common life we esteem but meanly and contemptibly a fellow who anoints his hair, and palpably smells of that anointing.
  15. torrid
    extremely hot
    His pure tight skin was an excellent fit; and closely wrapped up in it, and embalmed with inner health and strength, like a revivified Egyptian, this Starbuck seemed prepared to endure for long ages to come, and to endure always, as now; for be it Polar snow or torrid sun, like a patent chronometer, his interior vitality was warranted to do well in all climates.
  16. vicissitude
    a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something
    And if at times these things bent the welded iron of his soul, much more did his far- away domestic memories of his young Cape wife and child, tend to bend him still more from the original ruggedness of his nature, and open him still further to those latent influences which, in some honest-hearted men, restrain the gush of dare-devil daring, so often evinced by others in the more perilous vicissitudes of the fishery.
  17. ignominious
    (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
    Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meagre faces; but man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes.
  18. piety
    righteousness by virtue of being pious
    Nor can piety itself, at such a shameful sight, completely stifle her upbraidings against the permitting stars.
  19. august
    profoundly honored
    But this august dignity I treat of, is not the dignity of kings and robes, but that abounding dignity which has no robed investiture.
  20. renegade
    someone who rebels and becomes an outlaw
    If, then, to meanest mariners, and renegades and castaways, I shall hereafter ascribe high qualities, though dark; weave round them tragic graces; if even the most mournful, perchance the most abased, among them all, shall at times lift himself to the exalted mounts; if I shall touch that workman's arm with some ethereal light; if I shall spread a rainbow over his disastrous set of sun; then against all mortal critics bear me out in it, thou just spirit of equality, which hast spread one royal m
  21. ethereal
    characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; as impalpable or intangible as air
    If, then, to meanest mariners, and renegades and castaways, I shall hereafter ascribe high qualities, though dark; weave round them tragic graces; if even the most mournful, perchance the most abased, among them all, shall at times lift himself to the exalted mounts; if I shall touch that workman's arm with some ethereal light; if I shall spread a rainbow over his disastrous set of sun; then against all mortal critics bear me out in it, thou just spirit of equality, which hast spread one royal m
  22. pugnacious
    tough and callous by virtue of experience
    A short, stout, ruddy young fellow, very pugnacious concerning whales, who somehow seemed to think that the great Leviathans had personally and hereditarily affronted him; and therefore it was a sort of point of honor with him, to destroy them whenever encountered.
  23. waggish
    witty or joking
    This ignorant, unconscious fearlessness of his made him a little waggish in the matter of whales; he followed these fish for the fun of it; and a three years' voyage round Cape Horn was only a jolly joke that lasted that length of time.
  24. corporeal
    affecting or characteristic of the body as opposed to the mind or spirit
    There was a corporeal humility in looking up at him; and a white man standing before him seemed a white flag come to beg truce of a fortress.
  25. disquietude
    feelings of anxiety that make you tense and irritable
    Every time I ascended to the deck from my watches below, I instantly gazed aft to mark if any strange face were visible; for my first vague disquietude touching the unknown captain, now in the seclusion of the sea, became almost a perturbation.
  26. diabolical
    showing the cunning or ingenuity or wickedness typical of a devil
    This was strangely heightened at times by the ragged Elijah's diabolical incoherences uninvitedly recurring to me, with a subtle energy I could not have before conceived of.
  27. motley
    consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
    For though the harpooneers, with the great body of the crew, were a far more barbaric, heathenish, and motley set than any of the tame merchant-ship companies which my previous experiences had made me acquainted with, still I ascribed this -- and rightly ascribed it -- to the fierce uniqueness of the very nature of that wild Scandinavian vocation in which I had so abandonedly embarked.
  28. preternatural
    surpassing the ordinary or normal
    Nevertheless, the old sea-traditions, the immemorial credulities, popularly invested this old Manxman with preternatural powers of discernment.
  29. misanthropic
    believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others
    For, as when the red-cheeked, dancing girls, April and May, trip home to the wintry, misanthropic woods; even the barest, ruggedest, most thunder-cloven old oak will at least send forth some few green sprouts, to welcome such glad-hearted visitants; so Ahab did, in the end, a little respond to the playful allurings of that girlish air.
  30. winsome
    charming in a childlike or naive way
    For sleeping man, 'twas hard to choose between such winsome days and such seducing nights.