By Anne Tyler


Evie Decker is a shy, a bit of plump teen, lonely and silent. yet her quiet existence is shattered while she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey at the radio and turns into immediately drawn to him. She manages to fulfill him, bursting out of her lonely shell--and into the attentive gaze of the intangible guy who turns into all too real....

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The book is technically flawed by an agenda that is overly ambitious for Melville’s still developing expertise to manage effectively; however, it embodies qualities of beauty, spirit, and urgency that anticipate the maturity of Melville’s creative powers in Moby-Dick. The central symbol in Mardi is that of the voyage, which begins literally but then evolves into the realm of the allegorical and symbolic; the individual adventurers become representative of humanity, and the islands they sail among become the whole world (Mason 49).

Melville’s second fictional ‘I’ evolves” from the cautious voice of the socially circumspect Tommo to that of Omoo, “an emancipated vagabond strolling down an open road into an indeterminate future” (Abrams 49). The difference in voice reflects not only the narrator’s growing confidence and experience but also the writer’s. Setting and Plot Whereas the setting in Typee depicts the Marquesas before the natives’ conversion to Christianity, Omoo shows the aftereffects of the colonizing impulse in Tahiti.

The single greatest influence on Melville’s own writing was by all accounts Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he linked his own aspirations as a writer in his essay “Hawthorne and His Mosses” and who then inspired him to rewrite his nearly completed whaling manuscript and turn it into Moby-Dick. The effects of the friendship between these two writers almost always has been credited to Melville’s sole advantage, and Hawthorne’s influence has especially been posited in Melville’s discovery of the nature of evil.

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