By Joel Myerson
Proposing essays through a exceptional array of members, the spouse is a worthwhile source for ancient and contextual fabric, even if on early writings comparable to "A Week at the harmony and Merrimack Rivers," at the huge Walden, or on Thoreau's diverse journals and later books. It additionally serves in many ways as a biographical consultant, supplying new insights into his turbulent publishing profession, and his short yet terribly unique lifestyles.
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Extra resources for The Cambridge Companion to Henry David Thoreau (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
The Typees offer them food and shelter, as well as a servant for Tommo, whose leg has been injured during the escape. When Toby fails to return after leaving to find medicine for his friend, Tommo becomes increasingly lonely and fearful for his safety despite his attraction to the innocence of life in the valley. Eventually, he flees the valley and is picked up by another brig in the bay. Toby’s disappearance is explained in a sequel appended to the original edition of the narrative. Characters Although Tommo is the most fully developed character, he never achieves the status of central consciousness in the narrative (Lee, “‘Varnishing’” 209).
He fails to recognize his complicity in the loss of Yillah, which comes from his unacknowledged guilt in killing the priest Aleema and which ultimately results in the deaths of Samoa and Jarl. Taji ultimately destroys himself because he is unable to accept the impossibility of his ideals and fashion a more realistic understanding of himself and of humanity in general. He remains bound to his romanticized conception of the past, which prevents him from living in the present. All of the travelers search for Yillah; however, all but Taji grow through their travels and are able to recognize the futility of the search and abandon it before it can destroy them.
Themes Developing further his interest in the conflict between innocence and experience, Melville’s central theme in Mardi is the human mind’s quest for truth. Melville directs the search “outwardly at the objective truth about creation and inwardly at the realities of being,” identifying Babbalanja “with its outward and Taji with its inward action” (William Ellery Sedgwick 40, 42). In so doing, Melville emphasizes the “continual interaction between objective truth and inward reality, between knowledge and being” (William Ellery Sedgwick 42).