The Ambiguity of the Urban-Rural Setting and Melville’s Stark Image of America in Pierre

Ahmad Bani Salamah


While many critics dismissed Pierre’s ambiguities as one of the book’s weaknesses, this paper shows that one of these ambiguities- that of the urban/rural setting- is one of the novel’s points of strength. This paper argues that Melville’s intentional ambiguousness about the urban/rural settings is what gives him more room to articulate his bleak prospect about America and to debunk many vaunted classic ideals and religious beliefs. In Pierre, the researcher contends, Melville sounds the alarm he was feeling about the enterprise of America and voices his warnings about the imminent threats his country was about to encounter.

الكلمات المفتاحية

Keywords: Pierre, Ambiguities, Bleak, Prospect, America, Urban, Rural, Ideals, Classic, Religious.

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