Cole Robertson Herman Mellville Rough Draft

1119 words - 5 pages

Herman Melville

Early experiences in Melville’s life influenced many of his writings and the themes of his stories. As you know all of this began in a particular way, just like everybody else’s life.

Somewhere in New York City lived Allan and Maria Gansevoort Melvill. On august 1, 1981, Allan and Maria welcomed their 3rd son to the world and named him Herman. Herman was born into a very, history filled family. His elders were of Scottish and Dutch heritage. Herman had two grandfathers who were a big part of the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party. Herman, however; did not follow in these footsteps.

In 1826, Herman’s dad Alan wrote of him being slow and of being quite backwards in his thinking. A year later, Alan was tragically diagnosed with scarlet fever, leaving him almost permanently blind. Not being able to work, the family’s business collapsed. Seeking reinforcement they decided to move back to Albany, New York where Alan and his wife originally met. Herman then enrolled in Albany Academy, but just before another tragedy struck the family.

Alan died in 1832, leaving his family yet again, desperate. Alan’s oldest son Gansevoort assumed responsibility as the household leader. Herman joined him two years later as a bank clerk. Surprisingly the family mad the decision to change their last name from, "Melvill" to "Melville". In 1835, Herman attended Albany Classical School and then joined the school’s local debating society. Later on, Melville made the decision he would like to try teaching. He only taught for 3 years because of the fact that he didn’t really like it that much, but what he does next, decides his whole future.

Melville at this point had already started writing, but being teen he went a quest for something more. In 1837, Gansevoort went bankrupt and the family moved to Lansingburgh, New York. Herman studied survey at Lansingburgh Academy to equip himself with the materials needed for a big job. Sadly, the job didn’t quite materialize and Gansevoort arranged for Herman to be a cabin boy. Herman was placed on the ship "St. Lawrence"’ from New York City to Liverpool. The voyage did not dedicate Melville to the sea though and he moved back with his family still dependent on them. In 1841 sailed on the whaler" Acushnet", from Massachusetts on a voyage to the South Seas. The "Acushnet", landed in the Marquesas Islands later on in the voyage. This is where Melville would begin his career in writing.

His adventures on the island romanticized and became the subject of his first novel, "Typee". This book is referred to as a travel narrative. The novel was based on Melville’s month-long adventures as a guest-captive. He was a captive of the Typee people, the natives of the Marquesas Islands. The main of this goes by the name of Tom. Tom spends four month’s with a friend named Toby on a Polynesian Island paradise as prisoners of the Typee people, who were also allegedly cannibals. Tom’s oppurtunites to escape were very slim...

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