Herman Melville

By: Alexander Tostanoski

Biography of Herman Melville

Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819 in New York. He died on September 28, 1891. Herman Melville was an American writer who was best known for the novel Moby-Dick. He was known for his success in late 1840's. He was not as well known during his life time, he was more well known in the early 20th Century. He was one of the first writers to have his works collected and published by the Library of America. Herman Melville wrote most of Mardi, Redburn, White-Jacket, and Moby Dick. He was part of the literary movement of Romanticism.


Common Themes/Subject Matters

Common themes that Herman Melville uses are power of presence of evil. man learns on his/her own, this means that they learn from experience like he showed multiple times in Moby Dick and some of his other books. Another theme that he shows throughout his book is you must fight society and nature. Another is life is mask of appearance which means that people hide their lives, which he shows mostly just Moby Dick. Common subjects of Herman Melville's books are nature is tough but fight against it, man is not equal to God, and you are responsible for other human beings. You are responsible for human beings means that your actions influence other peoples lives and could affect them greatly.


Major Works

  • Redburn, His First Voyage (1849)- It is a semi-autobiographical and recounts the sufferings of a refined youth among couarse and brutal sailors and the seedier areas of Liverpool. Was written quickly, under 10 weeks. It makes some social criticsiams, including attacks on the evils of drinking alcohol. Contains one of the more notable examples of spontaneous combustion.
  • Moby Dick; or, The Whale (1851)- This was his most famous piece of work. It was considered one of the Great American Novels. The story tell the adventure of wandering sailor Ishmael and his voyage on a whale ship. He was on a voyage to seek out moby dick, a white sperm whale. Moby Dick was classified as American Romanticism.


Biography - Herman Melville (FreeYouSapiens)