Date of Award

Spring 1971

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Herman Melville had a deep faith in his fellow man. He felt that man's devotion to other men, a feeling of brotherhood between men, was the essential bond of humanity. Men had to acknowledge their responsibility to their own kind in order to achieve order and happiness in the rapidly changing, ambiguous world of the mid-nineteenth century. He rejected transcendental philosophy because each man had to achieve his own convictions and peace of mind through personal contact with nature, which led to the isolation of the individual. Melville believed that men could not live together in a society by cultivating their isolation from other men; he felt men could only achieve happiness through their concern for their fellow men. He adopted almost religiously the principle of the brotherhood of men.