How to Analyze Classic Literature (rerun)

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Reader Comments (54)

I concur; that's @$#*ing sexist.

I'm currently reading Moby-Duck, the true tale of the container of plastic bath toys that fell off a cargo ship in the Pacific. The toys ("Floatees") eventually beached all over the western coast of North America -- that is, those that didn't wind up in the Great Garbage Spot, aka the North Pacific Subtropical High. And, if you can believe it, a few even made it through the Arctic to wash up on the coast of Maine. And since the author keeps running off to chase the plastic bath toy, leaving his wife and toddler behind, there's a lot more about marriage in Moby-Duck than in Moby-Dick.

That's Moby-Dick, by the way; with a hyphen. Like Spider-Man.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Almost four years later this ones still makes me laugh.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacheMan

As a literature teacher, I find this incredibly funny. Well done...

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris G.

Hilarious 'cause it is true. The only flaw in your logic I can see is that at some point the whale should want Ahab. Then the whale realizes it was only in love with the idea of being chased. Culminating in it realizing how clearly insane Ahab is and diving as deep as possible in an attempt to kill him. There's a metaphor in there somewhere, I'm just not sure where.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt K

If she's mad about the sexism, at least she's not mad about metaphorically being a whale :P

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDArtagnon

Heh! The fourth panel is terrific, including the instructions.

Can't we judge Melville just a little though? I never read Moby Dick but I was forced to read Billy Budd and Bartleby in college, and while I guess Benito Cereno had kind of a plot it was still dreadful. Melville may well have been the most tedious man ever to wield the English language as a weapon. All props to his ginormous vocabulary though, most of which barely even shows up in an unabridged dictionary--which you'd better have handy to slog through his work. It was like reading Hamlet without footnotes--or drama, interest, characterization, or wit.

I may still carry some psychological trauma from the ordeal.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLummox JR

People in the future: "We can't judge Scott Meyer. It was a different time back then."

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeta

Call me first

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlawrence

I think you forgot to mark this as a rerun.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConrad Hilton

ohh...she's judging the whale.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbashir


March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRod

I guess that means Ishmael caught the bouquet?

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeegee


March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReader

Scott, this is brilliant! Also you ruined Moby Dick for me!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaid

Funny as ever :)

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWatever

Somewhat predictable last panel, but then- that's what I wanted anyway :D

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOption Disabled

Brilliant and correct observations about marriage and the differences between the sexes should only be shared with utmost care, if at all. A certain recipe for trouble. Trust me. Been there. Done that. Again and again and...

Hilarious as it is, the glaring core of truth will be felt as a hammer by the "weak" sex. I would never show this to my wife - at least not admitting that I agree. Hm. Maybe to my first wife - her sense of humour has been surgically removed anyway, and she may benefit from a few hammerblows.

Thank you, Scott! I am done lurking, me 'at's off to you, Guv'nor!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeezer

Great as usual, Scott!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJochDiaz

Eh? How's it sexist? It sounds accurate enough to me - such is life.

Woman decides on a man. Man is powerless to resist. Woman backs off. Man becomes obsessed. Outsiders are ignored. Woman relents. Man & woman become one. Outsiders are pushed away.

It is a story as old as language, because it is what happens.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimes

"I promise I'm not judging Herman Melville" Delish.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

Hilarious ... but dangerous. You don't want any actual whale implications to surface, as it were.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS - How to sleep in the couch

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmorim

All of these are great, but this one was completely hilarious. I literally had to stuff my face into the couch pillow to keep my cackling from waking my whale down the hall! Now I have to go back and reread Moby Dick in this new light :-)

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdavid t-g

welp, that settles it. This is the best instruction.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShark

Thats funny as hell!

Missy had nothing to say about how the "bride" was also the size of a whale? Or is the 5th panel showing her beat the #^@#%@& out of you?

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermohrorless

Scott, if you haven't been in a grad school lit class lately, you're obviously channeling someone who has!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Boban

I literally laughed out loud. "got rid of his friends and his boat"? Pure genius.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLOLOL

Brilliant :)

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuric

Note: it is not recommended to tell your significant other that you have become a "one whale man."

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertjvm

That is some big, white, cetacian, metaphor.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrazilian_guy

Absolutely wicked, one of the funniest BI ever!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristian

I must applaud the Missus' restraint; if Scott escaped a swift kick to the crotch, he got off lightly. Forget the analogy touching on scrubbing a man's social life away, any comparison to a woman that involves a whale is suicidal. In fact, I'd still call a quick, clean death afterwards lucky. Scott must have superhuman powers, after all.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

I concur, brilliant! Scott, I really wish you had been in my 19th century lit class. I would have been laughing myself silly in the back of the room while every other woman in the room gave you the same look Missy is giving you here.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermoojen

Brillant! *ducks for cover from the wife*

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAC

One of my personal favorites!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Brilliant - nearly Moon Man brilliant!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrFloon

I think the sentence "All props to his ginormous vocabulary though," is going to give me nightmares for weeks

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

The bit about getting rid of Ahab's friends and his boat is particularly awesome.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdan

does that make starbuck the one buddy of Ahab that tried to warn him that she wasnt any good for him? That would make that creepy voodoo stowaway guy the priest. The blood cooled harpoon the engagement ring. It is really drills home that line "There are plenty of fish in the sea"

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterisiah
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