Melville's Quarrel With God
Lawrance Roger Thompson


In this radical reinterpretation, Mr. Thompson argues that Melville, seeking to disguise his agonized conviction of the cruelty and malice of God, consistently satirized Christian doctrine. He endeavors to show that Melville resorted to literary deceptions that could simultaneously hoodwink and satirize the point of view of his orthodox readers. This bold challenge to the conventional interpretation of Melville is brilliantly presented and fully supported by external and internal evidence in such a way as to reveal a sinister intent in all of the major narratives from Typee through Billy Budd.

First published in 1952.

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