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Papers On American Literature
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Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick' vs. William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'
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A 6 page paper in which the writer argues that through mad antics toward ‘the revenge plot,' both Ahab and Hamlet serve to bring the action in the two tragedies to their inevitable conclusions. In all aspects the characters' motivations are different. Ahab's madness is more focused and not within Ahab's control--he is unable to see beyond it. Hamlet's madness is feigned. The characters' decision-making abilities are also in contrast to each other, and their view of God, the Devil and responsibility to same also come from a divergent slant on the moralistic ideals behind their given situations. Bibliography lists 7 sources.
Filename: Mobyham.wps

Herman Melville's 'Pierre' v. Rowson's 'Charlotte Temple' / Wages of Sin
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A 7 page paper looking at Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple and Herman Melville's Pierre in terms of their emphasis on sin and death. The paper concludes that both novels end so tragically because eighteenth and nineteenth-century society could not accept any other retribution for turning one's back on society. Bibliography lists 2 sources.
Filename: Wagesin.doc

Herman Melville's Billy Budd / Captain Vere - A Psychoanalytical View of a Man Conflicted or Self-Directed?
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Captain Vere, the pivotal character who determines the fate of the title character in Melville's Billy Budd, appears at the onset to be a man conflicted. Vere has a strong sense of duty and his personality appears to be defined by his notion of compliance with his role as Captain and the conflict that occurs because of he must apply the law to the actions of the innocent Budd. But there is also an alternative perspective on the nature of Vere, including the belief that Vere represents a character driven by motives that have defined his psychosis, and that this is the real reason that he directs Budd's execution. This 8 page paper provides a psychoanalytical perspective on the nature of Vere's conflicting personality and his corresponding behaviors. Bibliography lists 5 sources.
Filename: Capvere.wps

Herman Melville, Hemingway, & Ellison / Reason and Emotion
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A 10 page examination of the way emotion and reason are reflected in these author's worldviews. Looking specifically at 'Bartleby the Scrivener,' 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro,' and Invisible Man, the paper traces a historical progression from irrationality to full-fledged absurdity, and notes the loss of emotional center that accompanies it. Bibliography lists 5 sources.
Filename: Melvhem.wps

Human Nature in Johnson's 'Middle Passage' and Melville's 'Benito Cereno'
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A 5 page paper comparing and contrasting Herman Melville's 'Benito Cereno' and Charles Johnson's 'Middle Passage.' The paper argues that while Melville showed a much more prejudiced attitude toward blacks, Johnson reflects more cynicism toward human nature in general. No additional sources.
Filename: KBbenito.wps


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