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Missionary PositionsEvangelicalism and Empire in American Fiction$
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Albert H. Tricomi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035451

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035451.001.0001

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Melville’s Indictment of the Missionaries in Typee and Omoo

Melville’s Indictment of the Missionaries in Typee and Omoo

(p.64) (p.65) 3 Melville’s Indictment of the Missionaries in Typee and Omoo
Missionary Positions

Albert H. Tricomi

University Press of Florida

This chapter sheds light on Melville's novels on the South Sea Islands and Hawaii, Typee and Omoo, which are regarded as testaments to the division of attention between established missions to the American India. As both the novels encouraged national debate over the efficacy of foreign missions, the chapter examines both of these novels along with the reviews received by them. According to this chapter, the religious issues which were raised in reviews of Typee and Omoo spoke mainly to mainstream American as well as British concerns. Moreover Melville through his two novels also offered a troubling view of America as an evangelizing nation.

Keywords:   Melville, South Sea Islands, Hawaii, Typee, Omoo, American India, foreign mission, evangelizing nation

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