Although it is more simply constructed, is generally optimistic in tone, and contains a considerable amount of direct narrative, description, and reform polemics, it foreshadows Melville's complex masterpiece, (1851), which it immediately precedes.In 1851 Melville wrote that he was well along with "a strange sort of book" on whaling, adding "I mean to give the truth of the thing...." The narrator of Ishmael, is another drifter.


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