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Melville keeps a humorous eye on his story, which is enjoyable to me.  A very good example is the following section from Chapter XVII:

“I cherish the greatest respect toward everybody’s religious obligations, never mind how comical, and could not find it in my heart to undervalue even a congregation of ants worshipping a toad-stool . . . we good Presbyterian Christians should be charitable in these things, and not fancy ourselves so vastly superior to other mortals, pagans and what not, because of their half-crazy conceits on these subjects . . . Heaven have mercy on us all—Presbyterians and Pagans alike—for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”

[illustration from: https://uk.pinterest.com/lakoutrine/illustrations-moby-dick/V%5D

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