What follows is a "text to self" connection I made to Moby Dick by Melville.
“Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and feline thing. When you think it fled, it
may have become transfigured into some subtler form” (Melville 248).
Text Connection: Text to Self
At this point in the novel, Ishmael and the crew of the Pequod have been at sea for man weeks. After isolating himself from his crew for much of the voyage up to this point, Ahab calls the crew together to announce that his main goal is to hunt an d kill Moby Dick. This seems to bother Starbuck the most. The main goal should be to hunt whales and return to Nantucket with as much whale oil as possible. Their goal is not supposed to be the pursuit one specific whale. Ishmael and the others all seem to be under Ahab’s spell. They’re not as worried as Starbuck. This passage is referring to Ahab and maybe also to the crew (except Starbuck) who all seem to be a little insane (mad) at this point.
I can make a text to self connection to this passage because it reminds me of my grandmother. When she began to experience dementia (a mental illness), we would sometimes think she was “mad” or insane but then she would say or do something that made us believe she wasn’t. Her madness was difficult to pin down. It was “quiet and quick like a cunning and feline thing”.
This text connection helps me understand that perhaps a difficult time is on the horizon for the crew and for Ahab as they deal with Ahab’s madness. If Ahab’s madness is similar to my grandmother’s, then I know that it will be difficult for the crew to know for sure that Ahab is insane until he becomes so mentally ill that something must be done.