Without the Pale

Timothy Marr

in A Historical Guide to Herman Melville

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780195142822
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850297 | DOI:

Series: Historical Guides to American Authors

Without the Pale

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Although Melville may have witnessed the American Independence Day in England in the year 1839, he was only able to experience real independence when he realized the how the docks of Liverpool, when he was still a seaman, exuded something that differed greatly from his concept of conventional morality and veered away from what he was used to growing up in provincial America. As he observed the prostitutes, the poor, and how the people adapted to the situation of the slave trade, Melville experienced the way social hierarchy and slavery were still strictly observed, and how this brought about a great divide among Americans. This chapter illustrates Melville's experiences concerning transnational capitalism and how people with varied cultures and social classes have coexisted within that period.

Keywords: American Independence Day; England; morality; provincial America; slave trade; prostitutes; social hierarchy; culture; social class; transnational nationalism

Chapter.  11607 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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