The Apple-Tree Table and Other Sketches: A Summary of Herman Melville’s Work

Herman Melville, l’un des écrivains les plus célèbres de l’histoire de la littérature américaine, est surtout connu pour son roman Moby-Dick. Cependant, il a également écrit de nombreux autres travaux, dont certains sont moins connus. L’un de ces travaux est The Apple-Tree Table and Other Sketches, une collection de courts récits et essais qui offrent un aperçu fascinant de l’esprit de Melville et de sa vision du monde. Dans cet article, nous allons explorer les thèmes et les idées qui se dégagent de cette œuvre, ainsi que les raisons pour lesquelles elle mérite d’être lue et étudiée aujourd’hui.

The Life of Herman Melville

Herman Melville was a prolific writer, best known for his masterpiece, Moby-Dick. However, his lesser-known works are equally fascinating. The Apple-Tree Table and Other Sketches is a collection of short stories and essays that showcase Melville’s versatility as a writer.

The title story, « The Apple-Tree Table, » is a charming tale of a family gathering around an old table made from an apple tree. The table becomes a symbol of the family’s history and traditions, and Melville’s lyrical prose captures the warmth and nostalgia of the scene.

Other stories in the collection explore darker themes, such as the psychological toll of war and the cruelty of human nature. « The Two Temples » is a haunting tale of a man who becomes obsessed with a ruined temple and the mysterious woman who haunts it. « The Happy Failure » is a satirical take on the American dream, in which a man’s pursuit of success leads him to ruin.

Overall, The Apple-Tree Table and Other Sketches is a testament to Melville’s talent as a storyteller. Whether he is writing about the joys of family life or the complexities of the human psyche, his writing is always engaging and thought-provoking.

The Apple-Tree Table

The Apple-Tree Table is a collection of sketches written by Herman Melville, the author of the famous novel Moby-Dick. The book was published posthumously in 1922, and it contains a variety of short stories and essays that showcase Melville’s unique writing style and his ability to capture the essence of human nature.

One of the most notable pieces in The Apple-Tree Table is the titular story, which tells the tale of a group of friends who gather around an apple-tree table to share stories and memories. The table itself becomes a symbol of the bond between the friends, and the stories they tell reveal the complexities of their relationships and the struggles they face in life.

Other sketches in the collection include « The Piazza, » a contemplative essay on the beauty of nature, and « The Two Temples, » a story about a man who must choose between two different paths in life. Each piece in The Apple-Tree Table offers a unique perspective on the human experience, and Melville’s masterful prose makes them a joy to read.

Overall, The Apple-Tree Table is a must-read for fans of Herman Melville and anyone who appreciates thoughtful, introspective writing. It is a testament to Melville’s talent and his enduring legacy as one of America’s greatest literary figures.

The Piazza Tales

« The Piazza Tales » is a collection of short stories written by Herman Melville, published in 1856. The stories are set in various locations, including New York City, the countryside, and the sea. The collection includes some of Melville’s most famous works, such as « Bartleby, the Scrivener » and « Benito Cereno. »

One of the lesser-known stories in the collection is « The Apple-Tree Table. » The story is a humorous account of a group of friends who gather around an apple-tree table to share stories and jokes. The table is said to have magical powers, and the friends believe that it brings them good luck.

Melville’s writing in « The Apple-Tree Table » is light-hearted and playful, a departure from the darker themes found in some of his other works. The story is a reminder that Melville was not just a serious writer, but also had a sense of humor and a talent for satire.

Overall, « The Piazza Tales » is a diverse collection of stories that showcases Melville’s range as a writer. From the haunting « Bartleby, the Scrivener » to the whimsical « The Apple-Tree Table, » the collection is a must-read for fans of Melville’s work.

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Bartleby, the Scrivener is one of Herman Melville’s most famous works. The story follows the life of a lawyer who hires a new scrivener named Bartleby. At first, Bartleby is a diligent worker, but soon he begins to refuse to do any work at all. The lawyer tries to reason with Bartleby, but he remains stubborn and refuses to leave the office. The story is a commentary on the nature of work and the human condition. Melville’s writing is both humorous and poignant, and the story has become a classic of American literature. Bartleby, the Scrivener is a must-read for anyone interested in the works of Herman Melville.


Dans son œuvre la plus célèbre, Moby-Dick, Herman Melville explore les thèmes de la vengeance, de l’obsession et de la nature humaine. Le roman suit le capitaine Ahab dans sa quête pour traquer et tuer la baleine blanche légendaire, Moby Dick, qui lui a arraché une jambe lors d’une précédente rencontre. Le récit est raconté du point de vue d’Ishmaël, un marin qui s’embarque sur le navire de Ahab, le Pequod. Au fil de l’histoire, les personnages sont confrontés à des défis physiques et mentaux, ainsi qu’à des dilemmes moraux. Moby-Dick est considéré comme l’un des plus grands romans américains de tous les temps et a inspiré de nombreuses adaptations cinématographiques et théâtrales.


Typee is a novel written by Herman Melville that was published in 1846. The book is based on Melville’s own experiences in the South Pacific, where he spent time living among the Typee people on the island of Nuku Hiva. The novel tells the story of Tommo, a sailor who jumps ship and finds himself stranded on the island. He is taken in by the Typee people, who are initially portrayed as savage and cannibalistic. However, as Tommo spends more time with them, he comes to understand their culture and way of life. The novel is a fascinating exploration of the clash between Western and non-Western cultures, and Melville’s vivid descriptions of the island and its people make for a compelling read. Typee was Melville’s first novel, and it was a critical and commercial success. It helped to establish him as a major literary figure, and paved the way for his later works, including Moby-Dick and Billy Budd.


Omoo is a novel written by Herman Melville, published in 1847. It is a sequel to his first novel, Typee, and follows the adventures of the narrator, Tommo, as he travels from the Marquesas Islands to Tahiti and eventually to the United States. The novel explores themes of colonialism, race, and the clash of cultures.

In Omoo, Melville continues his exploration of the South Pacific and its inhabitants. The novel is based on Melville’s own experiences as a sailor in the Pacific, and he draws heavily on his observations of the people and cultures he encountered. The novel is also notable for its portrayal of the relationship between the sailors and the native peoples they encounter, which is often fraught with tension and misunderstanding.

Despite its critical success, Omoo was not as popular as Melville’s earlier novel, Typee. However, it remains an important work in Melville’s oeuvre and is considered a classic of American literature.


White-Jacket is a novel written by Herman Melville that was published in 1850. The book is a semi-autobiographical account of Melville’s experiences as a sailor in the United States Navy. The story follows the journey of a young sailor named Jack who is forced to join the navy against his will. Jack is assigned to the USS Neversink, a ship that is on a mission to patrol the Pacific Ocean.

Throughout the novel, Melville explores the harsh realities of life at sea, including the brutal treatment of sailors by their superiors, the dangers of mutiny, and the physical and emotional toll that life on a ship can take. The book also delves into themes of morality, justice, and the struggle for individual identity in a rigidly hierarchical society.

White-Jacket is considered one of Melville’s lesser-known works, but it is still highly regarded for its vivid descriptions of life at sea and its exploration of complex themes. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the United States Navy or the literary works of Herman Melville.


Redburn is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Herman Melville. The novel follows the journey of Wellingborough Redburn, a young sailor who embarks on his first voyage from New York to Liverpool. Redburn’s journey is filled with challenges and hardships, as he navigates the treacherous waters of the Atlantic and encounters a variety of characters along the way.

One of the most striking aspects of Redburn is its vivid portrayal of life at sea. Melville draws on his own experiences as a sailor to create a realistic and immersive world, filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of the ocean. From the cramped quarters of the ship to the violent storms that threaten to capsize it, Melville captures the harsh realities of life on the high seas.

At the same time, Redburn is also a coming-of-age story, as the young protagonist grapples with issues of identity, morality, and social class. As he interacts with the various characters on board the ship, Redburn begins to question his own beliefs and values, and ultimately comes to a deeper understanding of himself and the world around him.

Overall, Redburn is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that offers a unique glimpse into the world of 19th-century sailors. Melville’s masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions make it a must-read for anyone interested in the sea, adventure, or the human condition.

Benito Cereno

Benito Cereno is a novella written by Herman Melville in 1855. The story is based on a real-life event that occurred in 1805, where a slave revolt took place on a Spanish ship called Tryal. The novella tells the story of Captain Amasa Delano, who encounters the ship, San Dominick, off the coast of Chile. The ship is captained by Benito Cereno, who appears to be under the control of his slaves.

As the story unfolds, Delano becomes increasingly suspicious of Cereno’s behavior and the actions of his slaves. He eventually discovers that the slaves have taken control of the ship and are using Cereno as a figurehead. The novella explores themes of power, race, and the complexities of human behavior.

Melville’s writing style in Benito Cereno is characterized by its ambiguity and complexity. The story is told from Delano’s perspective, but the reader is left to interpret the events and motivations of the characters. The novella has been praised for its exploration of the psychological effects of slavery on both the enslaved and the enslavers.

Overall, Benito Cereno is a powerful and thought-provoking work that continues to be studied and analyzed today. Its themes and messages are still relevant in contemporary society, making it a timeless piece of literature.

Israel Potter

Israel Potter est un roman historique de Herman Melville publié en 1855. L’histoire suit la vie d’Israel Potter, un soldat américain qui a combattu pendant la guerre d’indépendance américaine et qui a été capturé par les Britanniques. Après avoir été libéré de prison, il s’installe en Angleterre et travaille comme jardinier pour le roi George III.

Le roman est basé sur la vie réelle d’Israel Potter, qui a été capturé par les Britanniques en 1778 et a été emprisonné pendant trois ans avant d’être libéré en échange de prisonniers britanniques. Melville a utilisé des documents historiques pour écrire le roman, mais il a également ajouté des éléments de fiction pour donner vie à l’histoire.

Israel Potter est un roman intéressant qui explore les thèmes de l’identité, de la loyauté et de la trahison. Il offre également un aperçu fascinant de la vie en Angleterre pendant la fin du XVIIIe siècle. Si vous êtes un fan de l’histoire et de la fiction historique, Israel Potter est un livre que vous devriez certainement lire.

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