ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Ahab s Fantasies

Ahab's Fantasies Bindu T Desai Star Warriors by William J Broad; Simon and Schuster, New York; p 223, IN his brilliant extended essay on the works of Herman Melville, CLR James says of Captain Ahab that he tried to "reconcile the undoubted advantages of an industrial civilisation with what that very civilisation is doing to him as a human being" [1]. Ahab's challenge and defiance contains a fatal flaw. He docs not, even for a single moment, question his relations with society. Trained in the school of individualism, an individualist solution is what he will choose to the very end. Expressing a desire to do away altogether with men who think, Captain Ahab tells the ship's carpenter to make "a complete man after a desirable pattern. Imprimis, fifty feet high in his socks; the chest modelled after the Thames Tunnel; then, legs with roots to 'em, to stay in one place; then, arms three feet through the wrist; no heart at all, brass forehead, and about a quarter of an acre of fine brains; and let me see

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