Herman Melville 2 Essay, Research Paper
Life, Works, and
Herman Melville, American novelist of the 1800 s wrote various novels that present radical themes. Many of his works reflect his life and his past adventures. In some of his writing it is obvious that he is reflecting on some of his past experiences that he had. In addition he also wrote novels about love and adventure, and used various characters to express his feelings. Many of his novels were based on the time he spent at sea as a sailor. Moreover all his work was astounding and had inner meaning. Therefore, Melville led an adventurous life, wrote numerous novels, and is remembered by modern readers.
Melvilles life was full of adventure. He was born on the east coast in New York to a rich family (Encarta). However it would not stay this way for long, because his father lost his job and then later died when Melville was only 13. After his father died Melville had to work at a young age to help support his family (Magill 1856). Then when he was 19 he became a sailor, and spent the next 6 years at sea traveling around the world (Baron 316). When he returned to America he became a teacher and stayed with this job for a while (Baron 316). Until in 1841 Melville returned to the sea and worked on a whaler boat. Over the next few years Melville experienced many things. He lived on an island with cannibalistic natives, he was sent to prison, and traveled to different islands (Baron 316). In 1891 Melville died of a heart attack at the age of 72 (Fuller 546). One of his unpublished novels after he died was found and read and is said to be one of his greatest writings (Fuller 546).
Melville wrote many novels and other things such as poetry. His first five novels became popular quick (The Internet). Typee in 1846, Omoo in 1847, and Mardi in 1849 were a few of his love stories that he wrote (The Internet). Redburn, in 1849 was one of his works that was based on his own first trip to sea (The Internet). Another was The World in a Man-of-War in which he explained his experiences in the navy (Chase 879). In 1850 Melville moved to a farm near Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he became a very close friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated his masterpiece Moby Dick (Chase 881). The central theme of the novel is the conflict between a Captain of a whaler boat, and Moby Dick, a great white whale (Hart 359). The first time Moby Dick and the captian met Moby Dick got a piece of him, he got his leg this is what makes the captian furious and makes him want to find and kill Moby Dick (Hart 359). The captian will not give up easily, him and his crew set out on their mission to kill Moby Dick (Baron 316). Melville wrote this novel in his own originality, and in parts of the book readers can see this easily. This was Melville s greatest success (The Internet). Melville had two amazing books on adventures of the South Seas Typee and Omoo and both were successful. However the success he experinced would not last long when he wrote his next novel Mardi he experinced a failure (Baker 316). After this Melville decided to try to make money by writing short stories, but this also had little success (Encarta). But neither his masterpiece Moby Dick or his short stories and other novels had much success at the time. It was not till modern times when readers discovered his books and that s when Melville became know as a great novelist (Kinnick 727).
Although Melville is remembered as a great author, many critics say he only had three successful novels (Magill 1861). Which were Typee, Omoo, and Moby Dick (Magill 1861). This makes Melvilles reader s upset, who say the critics are looking over novels like Billy Budd, and Pierre. (The Internet) Some critics put down his sequel to the Typee, Omoo saying it is only a continuation of the idleness that is displayed in the Typee. They also complained of Moby Dick, saying that it is based on a white whale, which is a north central animal, and the whole setting is in a south pacific area, which makes it unreal (Kinnick 725). Melville is known most for his novels, but critics say that he is one of the greatest American poets of the nineteenth century in there just beneath Whitman and Dickinson. He wrote poems such as Shiloh; about a place where you receive inner peace.
In conclusion Herman Melville s life was full of adventure and upset, he wrote many novels and poems, and was not given to much respect for his novels by most critics. First Melville lived a long life with his many adventures, trips to islands, and serving his country in the navy he was a pretty busy man besides just a great writer. He was born into a rich family but he learned early on in life the meaning of money when his father died. Next he wrote many amazing novels and poems, which are world famous today. With his greatest success being Moby Dick. Finally Melville was a fine novelist and poet but most critics seem to think his poems are what he was most successful with, saying that he is one of the greatest American poets. In conclusion, Melville was a good and adventurous man that will always be remembered in years to come.
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