Focus on Tommo’s characterization in Typee.
Focus on Tommo’s characterization in Typee. He is the most important character because the story is told entirely from his point of view. What are the limits and flaws in Tommo’s point of view? For example, he both admires and fears the Typee. Explore the nature of this ambivalence within the term “noble savage.” Often times, we value other cultures because we imagine that they have traits that we lack in our own culture. What traits might Melville see as lacking in American culture? How can you interpret his romantic relationship with Fayaway as a symbol of his “romance” with an exotic foreign culture? Does Tommo reflect a similar kind of ignorance as John Smith? For example, Tommo is critical of how the Typee are not bound to the same rules about sex, yet he fails to see how this is related to their general lack of private property and possessiveness, which is something that he admires. You do not need to discuss “Pocahontas” if you are writing on this topic.
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