"I knew that our worthy captain, who felt such a paternal solicitude for the welfare of his crew, would not willingly consent that one of his best hands should encounter the perils of a sojourn among the natives of a barbarous island; and I was certain that in the event of my disappearance, his fatherly anxiety would prompt him to offer, by way of a reward, yard upon yard of gaily printed calico for my apprehension."

The narrator makes this statement at the beginning of Chapter 5. It demonstrates Melville's use of comic irony, which proliferates throughout Typee. Melville has already described the captain as so brute a figure that the narrator is choosing to live amongst possibly cannibalistic natives rather than remain on the ship. Here, Melville is ironic by using kind terms to suggest the captain's cruelty. Instead of being overly repressive, Melvilles describes the captain's desire to keep him as "paternal solicitude." Likewise, the captain cares so much for his crew that he shall even offer goods to keep them aboard. With his language, Melville twists the captain's cruel behavior into comedy, providing an ironic twist.