Assignment Reading

These are the links for the readings A Christmas carol Herman Melville reading Instructions In Herman Melville’s two-part story, “The Paradise of Bachelors” and “The Tartarus of Maids,”
he offers a commentary of the relative places in the world of men and women. In the case of
human biology, the men have it easy and the women do not. He shows this symbolically in the
stories with the bachelor lawyers in London and the hard-working mill girls in New England. As
pointed out in the lesson on those two sketches (that together make one story), there are
several other possible meanings or implications that form themes for Melville in the work; and
then there is all that business about his allusions to Greek philosophy and the nature of love.
However, at the end of “The Tartarus of Maids,” the narrator says this:
“At the Black Notch I paused, and once more bethought me of Temple-Bar. Then, shooting
through the pass, all alone with inscrutable nature, I exclaimed—Oh! Paradise of Bachelors! and
oh! Tartarus of Maids!”
This would indicate that the narrator has just achieved an insight.
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a
change. During the course of the book, the reader see Scrooge’s experiences turn him from a
sour old man, who hates Christmas as the embodiment of many foolish thoughts and practices,
into someone who values Christmas and its implications, especially its implications to social
In both the Dickens’ and Melville’s texts, the protagonists go through lessons that lead to
insights. In the case of Scrooge, the reader gets to see the impact of the insight on Scrooge’s life
and actions. On the other hand, in Melville’s two-part tale, the reader (and likely the main
character) come to a conclusion, whether right or wrong, about the nature of life and society.
Using both of these texts, compose a paper according to the following guidelines:
In a paper of about 1250 words (5 pages), present these two works, Melville’s
“Paradise/Tartarus” and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as stories that bring the reader along for
the journey to an insight.
• Use details from the stories to show how the authors steer the reader to follow the
stories’ themes.
• Compare and contrast aspects of the stories, such as scenes (dinners, journeys, parties,
weather), characters (upper-class, servants, men, women, children), professions
(businessman, lawyer, clerk, manager, worker), or relationship identities (husband, wife,
friends, son, daughter, nephew). You need not do all of these; but choose what you can
to develop your ideas.
• Feel free to explore useful allusion or historical references that bring forward points of
the stories.
• Be explicit about what you think the reader is supposed to believe that the main
characters (Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and the “seedsman” in “Paradise/Tartarus”)
are supposed to have realized at the end of each work. Are these insights alike,
completely different, or alike in some way? Make your case.

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