Herman Melville quote about quality from Moby-Dick - There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.
pick facebookpinterest < prevnext > picture source

There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.
 Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851). copy citation

edit
Author Herman Melville
Source Moby-Dick
Topic quality contrast relativism
Date 1851
Language English
Reference
Note
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/2701-h/2701-h.htm

Context

“Yes, we became very wakeful; so much so that our recumbent position began to grow wearisome, and by little and little we found ourselves sitting up; the clothes well tucked around us, leaning against the head-board with our four knees drawn up close together, and our two noses bending over them, as if our kneepans were warming-pans. We felt very nice and snug, the more so since it was so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed-clothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if, like Queequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and unmistakably warm.” source

Meaning and analysis

write a note
report