Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

Charles Adams

Committee Member

Robert Cochran

Second Committee Member

Sidney Burris

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics; Philosophy, religion and theology; Abject lineage; Biblical typology; Calvinism; Christianity; Early American literature; Herman Melville

Abstract

This study looks at how the abject lineage--consisting of Cain, Ishmael and Esau--has played an influential role in the works of Herman Melville. While many critics have exploredthe relationship between Melville and these characters in the past, my study proposes that the author was intimately aware of the differences between these characters and their relationship to God and used these differences to compose his works. Ultimately, Melville struggled with the need for an abject lineage, and this struggle manifests itself most prominently in the evolving silence of Christ from Mardi to "Bartleby."

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