The Necessity of Whaling: Exploring Kari Herbert's Argument


Kari Herbert presents a compelling argument regarding the inighuit people and their dependence on whaling in the Arctic region. Throughout the passage, she skillfully employs argumentative language to convey the harsh realities faced by this community and, by extension, persuades readers to reconsider their perceptions of whaling. This essay delves into Herbert's narrative, exploring the layers of her argument, emotional engagement, and the overarching theme of necessity in the context of Arctic whaling.

Sympathetic Portrayal of the Inighuit People

From the onset, Herbert crafts an atmosphere of sympathy towards the inighuit people by describing their habitat as a 'harsh environment' in 'remote settlements' amidst 'snowy wastes.

' By setting this tone, she lays the groundwork for understanding their unique challenges, emphasizing the lack of alternative food sources due to the extreme temperatures. Herbert meticulously provides evidence, offering detailed insights into the inighuit people's reliance on whaling for survival, thus reframing whaling as a necessity rather than a sport.

Her use of local language and jargon further reinforces the inighuit's resourcefulness, highlighting that every part of a narwhal serves a purpose.

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Even seemingly valueless parts are repurposed, such as using the skin for light and heat. 'For centuries the blubber of the whales was also the only source of light and heat.' This intricate detailing underscores the integral role of the narwhale in the daily life of the inighuit people, making a compelling case for the indispensability of whaling in their culture.

Emotional and Argumentative Dimensions

As the narrative unfolds, Herbert navigates a spectrum of emotions, ranging from excitement to tension and even moments of conflicting thoughts.

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Describing the hunters' proximity to the narwhale, she notes, 'The hunters were close enough to touch the narwhale with their bare hands and yet they never moved.' This observation captures the intensity and intricacy of the whaling process, revealing the dangers faced by the hunters while highlighting their profound connection to the narwhale.

Herbert's emotional engagement becomes evident when she confesses, 'It was a foolhardy exercise and one that could only inspire respect. And yet at the same time my heart also urged the narwhale to dive, to leave, to survive.' This internal conflict mirrors the complexities surrounding whaling in the Arctic, acknowledging the risks involved while recognizing the inighuit people's deep-rooted dependence on this practice for sustenance.

Whaling as a Necessity

By the conclusion of her passage, Herbert successfully conveys the overarching theme of necessity in Arctic whaling. She underscores the risks undertaken by the inighuit hunters, emphasizing the perilous nature of their pursuit and the sacrifices made for the sake of obtaining a vital food source. The argument extends beyond a mere celebration of whaling; it becomes a poignant exploration of survival, where whaling is not a choice but an imperative act ensuring the community's well-being.

This autobiographical narrative achieves a dual purpose — enlightening readers about narwhales and Arctic life while offering a glimpse into the author's responses to the events she witnesses. Through Herbert's lens, whaling emerges as an indispensable aspect of the inighuit people's existence, challenging preconceived notions and inviting readers to reevaluate their perspectives on this age-old practice.


In conclusion, Kari Herbert's argument surrounding the necessity of whaling in the Arctic is a nuanced exploration that intertwines empathy, detailed observation, and emotional engagement. By unraveling the layers of her narrative, readers gain a profound understanding of the inighuit people's dependence on whaling for survival. Herbert successfully challenges stereotypes and prompts a reconsideration of the intrinsic connection between the Arctic community and this age-old tradition.

Updated: Dec 29, 2023
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The Necessity of Whaling: Exploring Kari Herbert's Argument. (2017, Jan 05). Retrieved from

The Necessity of Whaling: Exploring Kari Herbert's Argument essay
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