Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
'Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym' Summary
The book comprises a preface, 25 chapters, and an afterword, with a total of around 72,000 words.
On board the Ariel (Chapter I)
Arthur Gordon Pym was born on the island of Nantucket, famous for its fishing harbor and whaling. His best friend, Augustus Barnard, is the son of the captain of a whaling ship. One night, the two boys become drunk and decide, on Augustus's whim, to take advantage of the breeze and sail out on Pym's sailboat, the Ariel. The breeze, however, turns out to be the beginnings of a violent storm. The situation gets critical when Augustus passes out drunk, and the inexperienced Pym must take control of the dinghy. The Ariel is overtaken by the Penguin, a returning whaling ship. Against the captain's wishes, the crew of the Penguin turns back to search for and rescue both Augustus and Pym. After they are safely back on land, they decide to keep this episode a secret from their parents.
On board the Grampus (Chapters II – XIII)
His first ocean misadventure does not dissuade Pym from sailing again; rather, his imagination is ignited by the experience. His interest is further fueled by the tales of a sailor's life that Augustus tells him. Pym decides to follow Augustus as a stowaway aboard the Grampus, a whaling vessel commanded by Augustus's father that is bound for the southern seas. Augustus helps Pym by preparing a hideout in the hold for him and smuggling Tiger, Pym's faithful dog, on board. Augustus promises to provide Pym with water and food until the ship is too far from shore to return, at which time Pym will reveal himself.
Due to the stuffy atmosphere and vapors in the dark and cramped hold, Pym becomes increasingly comatose and delirious over the days. He can't communicate with Augustus, and the promised supplies fail to arrive, so Pym runs out of water. In the course of his ordeal, he discovers a letter written in blood attached to his dog Tiger, warning Pym to remain hidden, as his life depends on it.
Augustus finally sets Pym free, explaining the mysterious message, as well as his delay in retrieving his friend: a mutiny had erupted on the whaling ship. Part of the crew was slaughtered by the mutineers, while another group, including Augustus's father, were set adrift in a small boat. Augustus survived because he had befriended one of the mutineers, Dirk Peters, who now regrets his part in the uprising.
Peters, Pym, and Augustus hatch a plan to seize control of the ship: Pym, whose presence is unknown to the mutineers, will wait for a storm and then dress in the clothes of a recently dead sailor, masquerading as a ghost. In the confusion sure to break out among the superstitious sailors, Peters and Augustus, helped by Tiger, will take over the ship again. Everything goes according to plan, and soon the three men are masters of the Grampus: all the mutineers are killed or thrown overboard except one, Richard Parker, whom they spare to help them run the vessel. (At this point, the dog Tiger disappears from the novel; his unknown fate is a loose end in the narrative.)
Sadly, we couldn't find any...
Reviews for Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
No reviews posted or approved, yet...