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Herman Melville is considered to be a great American novelist and is credited with writing the novel Moby Dick Moby Dick is a novel about voyage of the Pequod seeking revenge on a sperm white whale Moby Dick The Pequod sets sail on Christmas Day from Nantucket port with crew of harpooners and sailors While sailing along the Pacific Ocean the Pequod has nine gams with other whaling ships A gam is a social meeting of two or more Whale-ships generally on a cruising-ground when after exchanging hails they exchange visits by boats crews the two captains remaining for the time on board of one ship and the chief mates on the other 198 All Americans enjoy a good gam except for Ahab who only allows a gam with a ship who has seen the white whale If their reply is no then Ahab would rather move on as quickly as possible One problem that seems to reoccur in each of the gams is a communication problem This is symbolic in that difficulty involved in anyone attempting a conversation with Ahab The first whaling ship the Pequod encounters on the ocean is the Albatross This ship was bleached like the skeleton of a stranded walrus All down her sides this spectral appearance was traced with long channels of reddened rust Only her lower sails were set 195 When the Albatross is asked the infamous question Hast seen the white whale they attempt to reply using their speaking trumpet but the captain looses his grip and the trumpet splashes into the ocean However he tries to continue with out but the ships are moving farther and farther apart thus resulting not in a conversation between these whaling ships and no gam occurs This is the first communication problem we see However the Town-Ho is a gam that Ahab allows because they have had an encounter with Moby Dick which is referred
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