Study Guide

Typee Chapter 11

By Herman Melville

Chapter 11

  • Finding it difficult to sleep because of his leg injury, Tommo is anxious, thinking about what it means to be staying with the Typee (mainly, whether or not they will be eaten.)
  • In the morning, the house fills with young women, gathering around Tommo and Toby, offering them food and getting a little too close for Tommo's comfort.
  • Next comes a warrior in full finery, covered with tattoos. It is only after a moment that they recognize him at Mehevi, their new chief pal from the night before. They discuss, as best they can, their own home customs, and all of the business with the Nukuheva and the French.
  • Mehevi notices Tommo's leg and sends for a healer, who gives Tommo a sort of overly-aggressive massage, plus some leaf-based bandages, and then leaves him to rest.
  • Tommo is introduced to a young man named Kory-Kory, who will be his manservant.
  • After Mehevi leaves, around sunset, it becomes clear that Tommo and Toby are staying in a household with ten or twelve residents, including Kory-Kory.
  • Tommo describes the building, which is made of coconut tree trunks, reeds, and branches, with sacks hanging from the beams for what seems like storage.
  • Along with Kory-Kory, the household includes his father, Marheyo (a sweet-hearted retired warrior), his mother Tinor (a kind domestic goddess always bossing around the young women of the house), and a collection of young men and women (about whom Tommo is unsure of their relation).
  • One resident of the house is Fayaway, a young woman with whom Tommo becomes quickly transfixed, spending lots of real estate on the page regarding the beauty of her face, form, dress, and presence.