Herman Melville, Moby Dick “Better to sleep with…”

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is widely considered one of the greatest American novels. And as soon as you come under the spell of Ishmael and start heading out on Ahab’s obsessive quest aboard the Pequod, you will be sucked into this magnificent piece of literature and come to appreciate one of the many memorable quotes, “Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian.”

The quote on this design is from the early, illustrious chapter describing The Spouter Inn and giving us our first glimpse of Queequeg, the son of the South Sea Chieftain who is such an integral part of the Moby Dick. In particular, Ishmael ruminates to himself that it is “Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian.” When Ishmael finally decides to bed down with the imposing, yet polite Pacific Island harpooner.

We can take Ishamel quite literally when he says this. But we also might think of the quote as an aphorism that sums up much of Ishmael’s worldview or as Melville’s guidance to the reader on how to interpret the characters. Of course, the sentiment could be considered in so many less literal ways. Regardless, of how you look at it, “Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian,” has become a favorite of many Herman Melville and Moby Dick fans the world over.

Anyone who has ever read Moby Dick, or slept with a sober cannibal over a drunk Christian for that matter, would love to own a shirt with this quote on it. It makes a perfect gift for any reader, fan of Moby Dick, or old salt. Pick one up today in several different colors and styles.