Study Guide

Typee Chapter 34

By Herman Melville

Chapter 34

  • It is three weeks since Marnoo's latest departure and four months since Tommo first arrived to the valley.
  • A one-eyed chief, Mow-Mow, appears at Marheyo's door to tell Tommo that Toby has arrived. Tommo is carried by Kory-Kory toward the Ti, while Mow-Mow explains that a boat has just arrived carrying Toby. Tommo wants to go to the shore, but no one will let him.
  • Once at the Ti, Tommo tells everyone he's headed to the boat; Mehevi objects but Tommo pleads and pleads until he is finally allowed to go.
  • Accompanied by several villagers, Tommo is carried by one or another, faster and faster as they make their way. They travel four or five miles until they reach another contingent of Typee.
  • It is here that Kory-Kory manages to tell Tommo that the message had gotten garbled: Toby had not arrived, but rather, died.
  • Tommo sees that the Typee will try to get him to turn back, now that his friend is not waiting for him. But he is determined to move forward. Though the Typee will no longer carry him, and Kory-Kory has disappeared, he moves onward with the help of a spear as crutch. He is allowed to continue.
  • Marheyo approaches Tommo to let him know the Typee will release him now. "Home," he says, and "Mother." (These are the English words that Tommo has taught him.)
  • Fayaway and Kory-Kory proceed, weeping, as Tommo at last arrives to the ocean, where an English whaling boat appears to be pulling out.
  • Then, Tommo hears his own name called aloud. It comes from a Hawaiian chief he had met earlier at Nukuheva. The chief, who is taboo like Marnoo, attempts to purchase Tommo's freedom, but Mow-Mow and the other chiefs will not agree.
  • Seeing this, Tommo decides to break free from the Typee, and several tribesmen try to prevent his escape. He gives one last goodbye to Marheyo and Kory-Kory and one last hug to a weeping Fayaway. Then he finds himself in a boat with the Hawaiian chief, being rowed out to the whaling ship.
  • The Typee, led by Mow-Mow, seek to overtake him, and the rowers are forced to defend themselves.
  • Mow-Mow reaches the boat, and Tommo strikes him in his neck with a boat hook, pulling him under the water.
  • The boat continues, away form the shore, leaving behind the Typee at last.
  • Once he is safe, Tommo learns that an Australian captain, in need of sailors, had landed at Nukuheva, where the Hawaiian chief had told about an American sailor who might be available if the captain would help broker his release. The Hawaiian chief had learned this from Marnoo.
  • It would be three months before Tommo recovered entirely, still unsure of Toby's fate.