Herman Melville during his time was known as the greatest writer. He was the author of many novels such as, Moby Dick, and Bartleby the Scrivener (Allen 9). Herman Millville stories were based on factual aspects in his life and the world surrounding him. Through his literature he expressed his feelings on certain political or economic issues that were occurring during the nineteenth century. In this essay I will be discussing Herman Millville’s life, his literature works and how it relates to him.
Herman Melville was born August 1, 1819 near the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, which was located at sixth Pearl Street in New York City (Miller 1). He was the second son and third child of Allan and Maria Gansevoort. His original last name was spelled Melville, he added the “E” after the death of his father (Allen 11). Herman’s father was an importer of French goods. His mother was an attractive woman; she was the daughter of General Peter Gansevoort, who was a famous American Revolutionary. Herman was baptized in South Reformed Dutch Church, on August 19, 1819(Allen 14). A few months after that, the alarum fever sickness reappeared again, which in turn forced his mother to flee to Albany, while his father stood behind in NY with his business. However, when the fever sustained she returned to NY, and discovered that Mr. Melville’s business was damaged. Therefore he had to borrow money from his family including his brother in law. From time to time his mother would go to Albany and visit because her parents lived there. Throughout Herman’s childhood he traveled back and forth between states and would visit his uncle ships. Since he was young he would hear many of his father adventurous stories on his travels, and he himself wanted to travel the world one day, just like his father. Also, he experienced many stories during the revolutionary period, such as, Boston Tea Party. Herman started school at the age of five. As he got older he wanted to prove to his father that he was intelligent than his other siblings.
In ninth grade Herman won a prize for public speaking and mathematics, which he surprise his father with his achievement. Later on, Herman’s father dies of pneumonia while he was heading to New York in Jan 28, 1832(Allen 28). The consequences of his father’s death put his family in hardship (Hawthorne 14) His mother was forced to live with her parents in Albany, and Herman at a young age had to take responsibilities, so he had to quit school and go work for his family. Eventually, Herman got a chance to return to school, and while attending he ran into one of his former professor, who encouraged him to write. In May, 1839, he published his first fiction article called, Fragments from a writing desk, in a Lansingburgh newspaper. Then on February, 1849 he had his first child named Malcolm (Hawthorne 17). Herman had an interesting but challenging childhood, however others may think he was always famous in his writing which wasn’t the case.