Essay about Herman Melville

Submitted By jephillips
Words: 505
Pages: 3

Herman Melville is certainly a prodigy when it comes to writing. He was a part of time in American history where inspiring works of literature began to emerge. It was also a time when American writers had not completely separated its literary heritage from Europe, partly because there were successful literary genius flourishing there. He never received hardly any credit for any of his works. Melville wrote such novels as Moby-Dick, and Billy Budd. He also wrote about things that he knew about. He wrote about his own experiences. The one thing that he loved, and knew the most about was whaling. During Herman’s childhood he lived in the good neighborhoods of New York City. In 1832 he suffered tragedy when his father died after trying to cope with the stress of debts and misfortunes. After a short time in a business house in New York City, Herman determined he needed to go to sea. He spent years traveling on a variety of ships, including whaling ships. Melville s perspective on life is that God created the universe with an infinite number of meanings and man is always trying to determine one specific meaning. The lessons that Melville is likely to weave into his writing are: an exposition on whales and the whaling industry, a commentary on the universe and human destiny, and thoughts about God and Nature. As he wrote Melville became conscious of deeper powers. In 1849 he began a systematic study of Shakespeare, pondering the bard's intuitive grasp of human nature. Like Hawthorne, Melville could not accept the prevailing optimism of his generation. Unlike his friend, he admired Emerson, seconding the Emerson demand that Americans reject European ties and develop their own literature. Experience made Melville too aware of the evil in the world to be a transcendentalist. His novel Redburn based on his adventures on a Liverpool packet, was, as the critic F. O. Matthiessen put it, "a study in disillusion, of innocence confronted with the world, of ideals