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Typee, A Peep at Polynesian Life
Author Herman Melville
Type of work Novel
Genre Travel literature; adventure novel
Time and place written New York, 1844–1845
Date of first publication 1846
Publisher Charles Murray (England) and Putname (New York)
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
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
Ace your assignments with our guide to Typee!