Study Guide

Typee Chapter 16

By Herman Melville

Chapter 16

  • Even though Tommo is experiencing kindness at the hands of the Typee, he's still suspicious over Toby's disappearance and the idea that these people may be cannibals.
  • More pressing is the condition of Tommo's leg, which isn't getting better at all.
  • One day, as Tommo is resting in the Ti with Mehevi, he hears that there are boats approaching from the distance. He hopes Toby will return to rescue him. When he rises, thinking he will try to make it to the shore, Mehevi tells him quite sternly to sit down. Tommo understands that he is truly captive—bummer.
  • Tommo also understands that most of the time, the Typee have much more information than they're willing to let on. There are exceptions, however, such as when Tommo wows Marheyo with the magic technology of a sewing needle, or when he uses his straight razor to help the great warrior Narmonee, to better shave his head.