Pierre: or, The Ambiguities | Critical Essay by Nancy Craig Simmons

This literature criticism consists of approximately 45 pages of analysis & critique of Pierre: or, The Ambiguities.
This section contains 13,315 words
(approx. 45 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Nancy Craig Simmons

Critical Essay by Nancy Craig Simmons

SOURCE: “Why an Enthusiast?: Melville’s Pierre and the Problem of the Imagination,” in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, Vol. 33, No. 3, 3rd quarter, 1987, pp. 146-67.

In the following essay, Simmons suggests that Pierre presents the problem of uncontrolled imagination, and provides evidence from Melville's reading, which includes the works of Isaac Taylor.

Few studies of Herman Melville's Pierre (1852) fail to mention the hero's “enthusiasm” or to refer to Pierre as an “enthusiast,” but seldom does the critic consider exactly what the word implies for our reading of the novel. Lawrance Thompson's statement is typical: “Pierre becomes the allegorical type of the ‘Enthusiast’—literally, God-possessed and God-inspired. And Melville further manipulates the actions of his young enthusiast in such...

(read more)

This section contains 13,315 words
(approx. 45 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Nancy Craig Simmons
Follow Us on Facebook