Omoo, a Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas

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Fictional account by Melville of his experiences in the Society Islands (1842). It was published in 1847 as a sequel to Typee.

At Nukuheva the narrator is taken aboard the short-handed Australian trader Julia (actually the Lucy Ann). Despite his injured leg, he signs on as a seaman, being assured that he may leave the ship at the next port. He discovers that the ship is in poor condition, and that Captain Guy is ill and untrustworthy, but he admires the mate Jermin and finds a friend in jovial, well-traveled, well-read Dr. Long Ghost. At Papeetee, the consul Wilson orders the Julia to sea again, but the unruly crew disobeys, bringing the ship into harbor. Imprisoned for insubordination, the men oppose efforts to force them aboard and at last are deserted when the Julia sails with a new crew. They annoy the natives, whose scanty supplies they share, although the old guide “Captain Bob” is friendly. The narrator and the doctor leave Tahiti for Imeeo, where they work for two planters, the Yankee Zeke and the cockney Shorty. Soon tiring of farm labor, they desert the plantation to explore the islands and study the people. Then, leaving Long Ghost in Tahiti, the narrator ships on a whaler, The Leviathan.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Herman Melville (1819—1891) American novelist and short-story writer

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