The move may well have delayed finishing the book. Ahab shares a moment of contemplation with Starbuck.
The very first line of Moby Dick , for instance, identifies Ishmael as the narrator; Ishmael was the illegitimate in terms of the Covenant son of Abraham and was cast away after Isaac was born. Moby Dick is spotted and, over the course of three days, engages violently with Ahab and the Pequod until the whale destroys the ship, killing everyone except Ishmael.
Bentley is not explained". During this time, a few critics were willing to devote time, space, and a modicum of praise to Melville and his works, or at least those that could still be fairly easily obtained or remembered.