Cannibalism in Melville's "Typee" and Murray's "A Carnivore's Inquiry" Research Proposal by smb490

Cannibalism in Melville's "Typee" and Murray's "A Carnivore's Inquiry"
A proposal to explore cannibalism in Herman Melville's "Typee" and Sabina Murray's "A Carnivore's Inquiry".
# 152165 | 705 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Jan 08, 2013 in Literature (American) , Anthropology (General)

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This proposal seeks to explore the issue of cannibalism in two novels: Herman Melville's "Typee", published in 1846, and Sabina Murray's "A Carnivore's Inquiry", a very recent novel published in 2004. The author overviews these two works and relates that he finds the issue of cannibalism intriguing and is interested in the ways in which our culture still finds cannibalism to be a horrible taboo. The author also notes that he wanted to work with Sabina Murray because has a very interesting style and handles dark subject matter with finesse.

From the Paper:

"It is interesting to see the ways in which each author handles the exotic, frightening and slipper issue of cannibalism and how the idea of anthropophagy functioned in their respective times and cultures. Melville's Typee was written at a time when America was rapidly expanding and Manifest Destiny was underway, and cannibalism served as an indication of uncivilized, over-sexed heathen cultures. In what is considered to be an embellished travel narrative, the narrator of Typee (whether it be Herman Melville himself or a man named Tommo by the Taipi) escapes a harsh existence upon his whaling ship to live among the Taipi for four months. The Taipi are thought to be cannibals, and while the narrator sees cannibalism as a frightening act, he is also allured by the associated exoticism. While living amongst the supposed cannibals, the narrator encounters the natives as a cultural "Other" and struggles to define the inhabitants of the island in terms of his own precepts of civilization. The art of Melville's Typee is not simply that it inverts the reader's notions of civilized and savage, but that it brings into question the meaning of civilization all together, with cannibalism as the focal point of this destabilization."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Melville, Herman. Typee: Complete Text with Introduction, Historical Contexts, Critical Essays. Ed. Geoffrey Sanborn. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
  • Murray, Sabina. A Carnivore's Inquiry. New York: Grove Press, 2004.

Cite this Research Proposal:

APA Format

Cannibalism in Melville's "Typee" and Murray's "A Carnivore's Inquiry" (2013, January 08) Retrieved November 28, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Cannibalism in Melville's "Typee" and Murray's "A Carnivore's Inquiry"" 08 January 2013. Web. 28 November. 2023. <>