The Grand Armada

Studio 360

Professor Elizabeth Schultz discusses her favorite passage from Moby-Dick, from the chapter titled "The Grand Armada," where Ishmael and his companions are dragged into the center of a huge pod of whales, and find peace in the midst of the bloody terror of whale-hunting:

"And thus, though surrounded by circle upon circle of consternations and affrights, did these inscrutable creatures at the centre freely and fearlessly indulge in all peaceful concernments; yea, serenely revelled in dalliance and delight. But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy."