the hired man

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Call me lshmael." So begins the famous opening chapter of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Young sailor lshmael is hired as a crew member of a whaler named Pequod, captained by a man named Ahab. In between lengthy chapters on whale biology and descriptions of the crew and the whaling trade, readers are slowly introduced to a captivating tale. Ahab is out for revenge on the great white whale that stole his leg, leaving him with a whale-bone prosthesis and a withering hatred for the beast. Known as Moby Dick, the whale is infamous for his encounters and escapes with whale ships, and Ahab offers a gold coin, nailed to the Pequorfs mast, as a reward for whoever sights him first. Beginning on a cold Christmas morning, the crew embarks on a journey to find the whale and make their fortunes. An exciting staple of American literature, Moby-Dick is a must-read for anyone interested in the classics.

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