Herman Melville

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Forrest G. said...

Melville often reflects on his past life, and the individual main characters in his books are a reflection of himself. This means that they are always male, and there are very few female characters at all. His characters usually experience life on ships or natural places. They are generally conservative, although Melville does have an unusual view of life, which I will let you find for yourself. Many people think of Moby Dick when they hear the name Melville, but he wrote better short stories, novellas, and hundreds of poems, which often focus on battle rather than the sea. The books I read were: The Piazza Tales (a series of 6 short stories and novellas), various poems, including: Battle Pieces (there are a lot of these, I only read a few), I and My Chimney, Billy Bud, Typee, Moby Dick, The Confidence-Man, I would also recommend reading Omoo, which I didn’t have time to read.

John Gray said...

Herman Melville, despite very little financial success in his lifetime, is now renowned as one of the greatest authors in American history, with his masterpiece, "Moby Dick," often considered to be one of the greatest novels of the modern age. If you wish to do you essay on this author, however, be warned. Although his mastery over the English language is remarkable, and his novels contain plenty of material to do a 10-page paper on, he is not exactly the "easy way out." His philosophical ramblings are incessant and occasionally grow repetitive, and his language is very dense and sometimes difficult to understand. Don't get me wrong, Melville is a fantastic author, but you should only choose to do the Author Thesis on him is you want a challenge. Many of Melville's works take place on the sea, and often are narratives of other characters through the eyes of the first-person protagonist. For example, "Moby Dick" is primarily about Captain Ahab, but is narrated by an average sailor named Ishmael, who actually plays a very minor role in the progression of the plot. I read "Moby Dick" (which counted as two books) and a collection of his short stories called "Billy Budd and the Piazza Tales." Many of his other famous works that I recommend reading are "Typee," "The Confidence-Man" and "Omoo."

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