Melville and the Theme of Boredom

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About the Book

Boredom is a prevalent theme in Herman Melville’s works. Rather than a passing fancy or a device for drawing attention to the action that also permeates his work, boredom is central to the writings, the author argues. He contends that in Melville’s mature work, especially Moby Dick, boredom presents itself as an insidious presence in the lives of Melville’s characters, until it matures from being a mere killer of time into a killer of souls.

About the Author(s)

Daniel Paliwoda is an assistant professor of composition, literature and cultural studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He lives in Floral Park, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Daniel Paliwoda
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4154-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5702-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

Introduction: Herman Melville’s Noontide Demons      5

Typee and Omoo: Body Here, Mind Over There      31

Omoo and Mardi: Searching for a Theme      59

White-Jacket: The Devil Loves Idle Hands      84

Moby-Dick: God or the Devil      106

“Bartleby, the Scrivener”: Not Quite the Last Word      146

Clarel: The Noontide Demon Can Quote Scripture, Too      168

Billy Budd: Ode to Joy      198

Conclusion      218

Bibliography      225

Index      233