English III Honors
6 December 2013
Herman Melville’s Writing Style
Herman Melville stands among America’s greatest authors. Most people recognize Melville as the author of Moby Dick, one of the most well known American novels, one that he did not receive appreciation for until many years after his death. Almost all of Melville’s masterpieces included blends of symbolism, adventure, fact, and fiction. He based many novels on past experiences (primarily long sea explorations) and personal adventures. Not only did he capture the reader with his intense, vivid imagination, but he also conveyed his own philosophies and beliefs through quotes from the Bible and exceptional symbolism. Although Melville is widely known as an extraordinary author today, he was not considered to be as exceptional back then. He was born into a middle class family in New York City on August 1, 1819 (South). Herman’s father was a merchant from New England while his mother came from an old New York Dutch family. A little over ten years into his life, Melville’s father died shortly after experiencing financial and mental breakdowns. Now the “man of the house,” Melville had to take on the challenge of providing the family with a stable income to keep them healthy. He took on a variety of jobs for the next nine years, including being a clerk for his brother’s hat store, working in his uncle’s bank, teaching school in Massachusetts, and, perhaps the most impactful job in his early life, sailing to England as the cabin boy on a merchant ship. Instantly falling in love with the sea, Melville wrote about his voyage as a cabin boy in his novel Redburn. This “adventure” inspired Melville to continue his career at sea. When he returned to America, he joined the crew of “Acushnet,” a brand new whaling ship, soon to set sail in the Pacific Ocean (South). This voyage was perhaps the most influential expedition Melville ever took part in. Using the experiences, newly learned...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document