Everything you need to understand or teach Great Short Works of Herman Melville by Herman Melville.
The Alienating Impact of Scientific Progress
Many of the stories in the collection deal specifically with the alienating impact of scientific progress. Examples are common—Bartleby is dehumanized by modern business practices; in The Two Temples theatrical plays replace Christian worship; the machine in The Happy Failure consumes the narrator's uncle's passions; the Lightning-Rod man peddles ineffective protection from nature; the women in The Tartarus of Maids are tormented by their horrific factory working conditions; Bannadonna is killed by his invention in The Bell-Tower; and in I and My Chimney the narrator struggles to retain his old, unimproved, chimney; in The Piazza the narrator examines the nature of happiness and equates it with solitude. Throughout the collection, Melville always links scientific or social 'progress' with a loss of humanity. For example, when the swamp-draining machine in The Happy Failure proves unworkable and is demolished, the would-be inventor suddenly finds happiness and is glad of... View more of the Great Short Works of Herman Melville Summary
Great Short Works of Herman Melville Lesson Plans contain 122 pages of teaching material, including: