Main Ideas

Motifs

Main Ideas Motifs

Typees are cannibals. Even though they also serve the story thematically, the constant references to cannibalism serve primarily as a device of suspense and plot used to drive the action in the novel.

Sexuality

Sexuality is a subtle motif in the text, but one that plays an important role in the development of Tommo's identity. Initially, Tommo appears to be an asexual creature. When the Dolly arrives in Nukuheva, the crew and the native girls join in a sc

ene of wild debauchery, of which Tommo does not appear to be a part. On the ship, sexuality appears foul and licentious. As Tommo enters and becomes a part of the valley though, he is more able to embrace sexuality with a certain innocence. He falls in lo

ve with Fayaway. Sexuality and nudity become innocent and pure, as opposed to how they are normally seen in the European/American world. Essentially, the Typee valley represents sex before man's fall from grace. It is still innocent and fresh, with no

sinful connotations.