The Last Samurai In Herman Melville's Typee

1892 Words8 Pages
Throughout much of Herman Melville’s novel Typee, I found there was a central theme that flowed within the text. One of the main themes that captured my attention and kept me intrigued and was also parallel with our course work, was the fear of the other or of the unknown. Melville implies in his writing, that because of this fear, natives and their land would be far better off to remain an undiscovered territory. That European and American travelers who stumbled upon uncharted land had a negative effect on the natives culture and way of life; bringing violence, rape and disease amongst a peaceful people. As the story began to reveal itself, I also found that this narrative had close similarities to Tom Cruise’s box office hit The Last Samurai.…show more content…
In the movie the main character found himself at an impasse between the man he once was and choosing a path of a man that was 180 degrees of who he used to be; going from a shattered alcoholic ex-Army captain to finding himself sober and assimilated to the Japanese way of life in the village. As an American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train Japan’s first army in the art of modern warfare. He is given the task to rid the country of the Samurai. As the government of Japan attempts to turn its back on its past and own history of the ancient Samurai warriors, and to help usher in a new time period for more Westernized and trade-friendly policies. Tom Cruise’s character finds himself unexpectedly affected by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two…show more content…
Once faced with this unknown world, they either had to stay the path on a destructive unfulfilled life they were already on or give in to this culture that embraced and rooted the fear of the other. In the Last Samurai, the main character has a shift in ideologically once he realizes that the world is not as cruel and harsh as it was in the United States and begins to release his inner demons and succumb to the Japanese culture. On the other side of the coin, Tommo was faced with this same interception of life when he realizes that the life he signed up for on a whaling ship is not the life he wants. Both characters were looking for peace of mind and trying to find their place in life, which is a human characteristic that everyone in society is faced with. The constant search for peace, gratification and fulfillment in life is something that many search for but few seldom find. I believe that it is the search in fact prevents people from truly finding peace, because peace is not something that you search for, it is something that is created and cultivated from within. And when one’s surroundings change and you are put into an environment that is foreign without the distractions of everyday life, there is a level of peace that can be attained because your
Open Document