Course Hero. "Typee Study Guide." Course Hero. 2 Apr. 2018. Web. 21 May 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Typee/>.
Course Hero. (2018, April 2). Typee Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Typee/
(Course Hero, 2018)
Course Hero. "Typee Study Guide." April 2, 2018. Accessed May 21, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Typee/.
Course Hero, "Typee Study Guide," April 2, 2018, accessed May 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Typee/.
After being out to sea for six months, the whaling ship Dolly puts in at Nukuheva Bay in the Marquesas Islands. The narrator, known as Tommo, and another sailor named Toby decide to desert the ship because the captain is cruel and violent. They plan to hide out on Nukuheva, surviving on easily foraged tropical fruit until they can find passage on another boat off the island. Their only major worry is being caught by the Typee, an infamously savage and cannibalistic tribe in one of the valleys on the island.
The two flee the boat into the wilds of the island, only to find that neither of them thought to bring food, and the only tropical fruit is in the inhabited valleys of the island. Not wanting to approach any of the populated areas, for fear the inhabitants are either Typee or a friendly tribe who will hand them over to their captain for a reward, Tommo and Toby keep to the wilderness for days. They live on biscuit crumbs and water, and the narrator sustains a mysterious injury to his leg and becomes feverish.
Eventually the pair realize they won't survive without help and make their way down a treacherous ravine to a native village. The islanders are uncertain of the two newcomers but treat them politely. Toby and Tommo can only communicate with a few words in Polynesian, and manage to learn that the islanders in the valley are, in fact, Typee. However, the Typee don't seem intent on causing them any harm.
As the first days pass with the Typee, Tommo's illness worsens and he has to be carried everywhere by a man named Kory-Kory, who has been assigned to look out for him. Tommo becomes attracted to a beautiful girl named Fayaway, and the two men enjoy being fed and treated like special guests. They remain apprehensive about the stories of Typee cannibalism, however, and the first time they eat meat with the tribe Toby won't eat for fear that it's roast baby. The meat turns out to be pork, but the men are still worried about their own fates with the islanders.
Tommo's illness and injured leg worsen, so Toby decides to go for help and European medicine. He gets attacked by an enemy tribe, the Happar, before he can get very far, and returns wounded to the village. Later, there is word of ships down in the nearby bay, and Toby goes with some islanders to meet the ships and see if he can get some help for Tommo. Toby never comes back and the islanders can only give vague reports about what happened to him, so Tommo becomes worried that the islanders did something to Toby.
After a while, when it becomes increasingly clear that the Typee have no intention of letting the narrator leave, he begins to enjoy some aspects of Typee life. He swims with the young girls of the village and spends a lot of time with Fayaway. Tommo also takes time to learn about the different crafts and traditions of the Typee, and makes many anthropological and philosophical observations about the contrast between Typee and European culture.
His anxieties return when the tribe becomes determined to tattoo him in their traditional way. Tommo loathes the tattoos of the tribe and fends them off, but feels increasing pressure to be tattooed. Then the Typee are called away to do battle with the Happar, and when they return they throw a feast that Tommo is not allowed to attend. This makes him suspicious, and his suspicions are confirmed when he sees the remains of a Happar skeleton after the feast. After finding irrefutable evidence that the Typee are cannibals, he becomes determined to escape. Despite the fact that the Typee people never offered him any violence or harm, he cannot stop thinking about their cannibalism.
Typee Plot Diagram