Who Ain’t a Slave?
In this chapter, Pellar discusses the commonly misunderstood proclamation of Ishmael’s, “Who ain’t a slave?” Pellar demonstrates, contrary to many critics understanding of this particular passage, that Melville was showing the reader a naïve Ishmael. Thus, Melville is telling the story of a conversion. Pellar then discusses the race/slavery subtext of the black church, “The Trap,” the whaling town of New Bedford, and the Inn that Ishmael visits. Pellar then discusses how the Southerner Bulkington’s disappearance informed the Southern moral, economic, and political perspective in the slave/whale hunt. Lastly, Pellar explores the antislavery subtext of Jonah and the whale sermon of Father Mapple, as well as Mapple’s “Cadiz” as an international symbol for the slave trade and profit.
KeywordsSlave Trade Black Church Color Symbolism Interracial Friendship Human Flesh
- Berthold, Michael C., “Moby-Dick and American Slave Narrative.” Massachusetts Review 36 (1994): 135–148.Google Scholar
- Bradley, David, “Our Crowd, Their Crowd: Race, Reader, and Moby-Dick.” Melville’s Evermoving Dawn: Centennial Essays. Edited by John Bryant and Robert Milder. Kent: Kent State University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
- Butterfield, Stephen. Black Autobiography in America. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1974.Google Scholar
- Cook, Jonathan A., “Moby-Dick, Myth, and Classical Moralism: Bulkington as Hercules.” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 6, no. 2 (October 2004): 15–28.Google Scholar
- Garrison, William Lloyd, “Address to the Colonization Society.” July 4, 1829. http://teachingamericanhistory.org.
- Garrison, William Lloyd, “The American Union.” The Liberator. January 10, 1845. http://fair-use.org/the-liberator/1845/01/10/the-american-union.
- Karcher, Carolyn L. Shadow Over the Promised Land: Slavery, Race, and Violence in Melville’s America. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
- King, Philip J., and Lawrence E. Stager. Life in Biblical Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.Google Scholar
- Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. 1851. Edited by Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker. New York: W. W. Norton, 1967b. Page numbers are to the 1967 edition.Google Scholar
- Melville, Herman. White-Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-War. 1850. New York: Library of America, 1983c.Google Scholar
- Melville, Herman. Correspondence. Vol. 14, Writings of Herman Melville. Edited by Lynn Horth. Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern Univ. Press and the Library, 1993.Google Scholar
- Parker, Hershel. Herman Melville: A Biography. Vol. 1: 1819–1851. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
- Pearson, Erin, 2014. Savage Hunger: Cannibalism and the Discourse on Slavery in the United States and Caribbean. PhD dissertation, UC Irvine. Ann Arbor: ProQuest/UMI, 2014 (Publication No. UMI 3615200).Google Scholar
- Rogin, Michael Paul. Subversive Genealogy: The Politics of Art and Herman Melville. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1983.Google Scholar
- Sierra Leone Commissioner’s Report. 1839. http://www.pdavis.nl/SL1839.htm.
- Stauffer, John, “Interracial Friendship and the Aesthetics of Freedom.” Frederick Douglass & Herman Melville: Essays in Relation. Edited by Robert S. Levine & Samuel Otter. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2008.Google Scholar
- Thomas, Hugh. The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440–1870. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1999.Google Scholar