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Key Facts

Key Facts

full title ·  Typee, A Peep at Polynesian Life

author ·  Herman Melville

type of work ·  Novel

genre ·  Travel literature; adventure novel

language ·  English

time and place written ·  New York, 1844–1845

date of first publication ·  1846

publisher ·  Charles Murray (England) and Putname (New York)

narrator ·  Tommo

point of view ·  First, Second, and Third Person

tone ·  Informative, often dotted with comic irony

tense ·  Past tense

setting (time) ·  1842

setting (place) ·  The Marquesas Islands located in the South Pacific Ocean

protagonist ·  Tommo

major conflict ·  Tommo's fear of remaining with the Typees

rising action ·  Stories about the Typee's cannibalism; fear while eating pork Toby's disappearance; the realization that he is trapped; realization that the Typees are cannibals; viewing the three human heads

climax ·  When Tommo realizes that he must flee

falling action ·  Attempts to flee at night; the false impression that Toby has arrived; Tommo's escape

themes ·  The negative effect of European civilization; the superiority of the natives; harsh conditions on a whaling ship

motifs ·  Tommo's leg injury Cannibalism Sexuality

symbols ·  Fayaway Tattooing The Ravine

foreshadowing ·  Captain Vang's lecture on island safety

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