"Even at the moment I felt horror at the act I was about to commit; but it was no time for pity or compunction, and with a true aim, and exerting all my strength, I dashed the boat-hook at him. It struck him just below the throat, and forced him downwards. I had no time to repeat my blow, but I saw him rise to the surface in the wake of the boat, and never shall I forget the ferocious expression of his countenance."

This quote comes from the end of Chapter 34, when Tommo is escaping from the Typees. He is riding in the small boat with Karakoee and the other rowers when the one-eyed Typee chieftain, Mow-Mow, swims up with a desire to take Tommo back. As explained in this quote, Tommo hits Mow-Mow with the boat hook and is able to get away. The action is significant not just because it ensures Tommo's escape, but also because it is one of the most violent acts in the book. Furthermore, it is committed by the author as he is leaving the peaceful and gentle atmosphere of the Typee valley. The sudden appearance of violence and inner darkness surprises as it emerges to close the book. Does it mean that the narrator has reverted to the violent nature of most Europeans and Americans? Has he inherited a ferocity from the native tribe with which he lived? The meaning is not entirely clear, but it does demonstrate Tommo's strong willingness to leave the valley. Although he does not want to, he shall resort to violence if only to get away.