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Word Count: 1,282
The Civil and The Savage Herman Melville in his book Typee gives the civilized world a peek at the uncivilized world in the Nukuhiva valley Through his speaker Tommos experiences in the valley Melville shows the civilized world what it would be like to live in harmony with nature He thinks that the people who live close to the nature are much happier healthier and are free from most of the miseries that the people of the civilized world go through He says In a primitive state of society the enjoyments of life though few and simple are spread over a great extent and are unalloyed but Civilization for every advantage she imparts holds a hundred evils in reserve - the heart burnings the jealousies the social rivalries the family dissensions and the thousand self- inflicted discomforts of refined life which make up in units the swelling aggregate of human misery are unknown among these unsophisticated people 124-25 But can we call this primitive or uncivilized state of society in the Nukuhiva valley an uncivilized or primitive society after all Because the qualities we use to distinguish between the civil and uncivil are themselves ambiguous Sexuality is one of the qualities that we use to distinguish between civil and uncivil actions In the 18th 19th century Europe women covered themselves from the neckline to the ankles and werent open about the issues of sexuality Because of this Tommo was very surprised when a group of young girls came onboard their ship just as they were approaching the islands He says that their free unstudied action seemed as strange as beautiful 15 This free unstudied action of the young women who live in harmony with nature in the islands raises moral and ethical dilemmas in the minds of civilized people but what about the actions of the sailors Tommo says Not the feeblest barrier was interposed between the unholy passions of the crew
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