Melville and McCarthy

Melville had begun to suspect that violence and death (as opposed, say, to liberty and justice) defined American history. That is why the bloody business of whaling, and not something more benign like the spread of railroads or the "annex" of new territories (which were, of course, only relatively benign), stands as his metaphor for American capitalist and imperial aspirations. (Philips 8)
Written on July 1, 2009