Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Celestial Railroad" (1843) is a nineteenth-century retelling of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Hawthorne parodies Americans' self-confident belief in progress without moral consequences. Hawthorne's work had a significant influence on Herman Melville and dealt with many similar themes.
Melville's 1855 story "The Paradise of Bachelors and The Tartarus of Maids" takes another look at the social effects of capitalism, emphasizing shifting gender roles. Melville's repulsion toward the New England paper factories is explicit, and his...
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