Herman Melville's Impact On American Literature

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Herman Melville and his Impact on American Literature “He who has not failed somewhere… that man cannot be great.” This is a quote by Herman Melville that he lived by throughout his life as he struggled to harness a steady income and share his thoughts through literature. Herman Melville’s writings influenced America mainly after his death as we discovered the underlying beauty and validity of his literature, developed from his years of experience as a seaman. There are many reasons why Herman Melville is considered one of the most decorated literary authors of his time. Melville learned to work from a young age when his father passed away shortly after going bankrupt in the fur business(“American Experience”). He acquired three jobs…show more content…
However, despite being his most famous novel, only three thousand copies of the book were sold while Herman was still living(“Herman Melville”). By the 20th century the novel was reborn as literary analysts began to comment on the excellence presented by the story and many copies began selling as it became a must for high school curriculums all over the United States As one digs deep into Moby Dick, one would get the feeling of how life on the high seas was and the excitement that a sailor’s life was comprised of. Herman wrote the novel in first person point of view as a sailor on the whaling ship just as he had been during his voyages. This helps to add reality to a story that was somewhat unbelievable to people when it was first published. Lastly, Herman’s life impacted his novel, Moby Dick because the tragic ending in which the main character is the only sailor of the entire crew that escapes the attack of the whale they are attempting to catch. He ends up staying afloat on his best friend’s coffin after the ship is sunk and the mission failed(Herman Melville). This reflects Melville’s life at the time because he wrote Moby Dick during the pivotal period of his life when he was going unrecognized for his work and his financial and family life was taking a turn for the worst. Herman was hit hard by many things such as like his son’s unexpected death when he decided to take his own life in the fall of the year 1867. From the twentieth century on, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick has been considered a masterpiece of literature and a landmark in
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