Herman Melville discussion

Group Read > Week 1: The Confidence-Man

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message 1: by Azaghedi (last edited Mar 02, 2012 11:28AM) (new)

Azaghedi | 19 comments Mod
This week (3/3-3/9) we'll be reading Chapters 1 through 7. Please feel free to join in on the discussion!

message 2: by Carl (new)

Carl | 3 comments I love the Customs Agent quip in chapter three. I wonder if he regretted that later.

message 3: by Azaghedi (new)

Azaghedi | 19 comments Mod
Which part was that, Carl?

message 4: by Keith (new)

Keith | 3 comments Steve wrote: "Which part was that, Carl?"

The Custom House officer remark is in chapter 3's descrtiption of the wooden-legged man. Melville takes a few jabs at the custom house in this book. I suppose he didn't like his job!

message 5: by Keith (last edited Mar 09, 2012 05:20PM) (new)

Keith | 3 comments There are a couple interesting things in this part of the novel.

In chapter 3, Black Guinea gives several references and these characters (i.e., Confidence Men) all appear later in the novel. The list starts with the man with the weed, the man in the gray coat, the man with the book (i.e., the company president) and so on.

Also note that the man in the gray coat "might have seemed like the man with the weed." (Chapter 6) The Confidence Man takes on different roles throughout the book.

There's also some great prose that make Melville a pleasure to read:

"Gradually overtaken by slumber, his flaxen head drooped, his whole lamb-like figure relaxed, and half reclining against the ladder's foot, lay motionless, as some sugar-snow in March, which softly stealing down over night, with its white placidity startles the brown farmer peering out from his threshold at daybreak." (End of chapter 1) Beautiful!

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