Close Reading: “The Paradise of the Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids” In Melville’s “Paradise of the Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids”, a vivid illustration and comparison of the life of the industrial class and working class is displayed to the reader. The working class slaves themselves silly, while the industrial class sits back and reaps the benefits. In a sense, it is indeed the working class who keeps society running. The narrator chooses to represent the industrial class by a group of wealthy bachelor lawyers. A unmarried, self-indulgent “band of brothers” (269), they enjoy living a lavish lifestyle “without any twinges of their consciences touching desertion of the fireside” (269), only concerned with satisfying their own needs. Among the many luxuries of the privileged, they take pleasure in traveling and pampering themselves with fine cuisine, consisting of ox-tail soup, turbot, roast beef, mutton, turkey, chicken pie, tarts, puddings, cheese and crackers, and plenty of drink- alcohol, that is.
Pikna 2 “It was the very perfection of quiet absorption of good living, good drinking, good feeling, and good talk” (269).
This is what the narrator describes as the paradise of the bachelors. However, the truth of the matter is, is that appearances can often be misleading. Underneath it all, the bachelors live a pretty dull and empty life. Described as “men of liberal sense, ripe scholarship in the world, and capacious philosophical and convivial understandings” (269), they are often hedonistic and choose to interact with one another through the sharing of “all sorts of pleasant stories” (268).
The importance of industrial relations is the key to the progress and success of an organization. The important benefit of them is to ensure continuity of production. This means continuous employment for all from the managers to the workers. Disputes are the reflections of the failure of basic human urges or motivations to secure adequate satisfaction or expression that are fully cured by good ...
The bachelors are simply useless men whose primary focus is their high consumption lifestyle.
The thought of suffering any type of pain or trouble simply blows their minds away. “The thing called pain, the bugbear styled trouble- those two legends seemed preposterous to their bachelor imaginations… how could they suffer themselves to be imposed upon by such monkish fables? Pain! Trouble! As well talk of Catholic miracles. No such thing” (269).
However, on the other hand, the working class (represented in the form of “blank-looking girls” (277) ) lives a life of unending, monotonous labor Pikna 3 in a paper mill.
Upon first entering the mill, the narrator is shocked at the manor of these women. “Not a syllable was breathed. Nothing was heard but the low, steady overruling hum of the iron animals. The human voice was banished from the spot” (277).
The maids drain themselves with their work until they are as blank as sheets of paper. Described by narrator as “mere cogs to the wheels” (278), it is almost as if they are being transformed into the product of the machines they are maintaining. “Machinery- the vaunted slave of humanity- here stood menially served by human beings, who served mutely and c ringingly as the slave serves the Sultan” (278).
Particular attention is paid to the narrator’s encounter with a young factory worker whose face is “young and fair” (277), and a similar worker (who has obviously put her time in at the mill) whose brow is “ruled and wrinkled” (277).
Based on the narrator’s description, the latter maid is becoming the product of the lining machine she is tending. In addition she is letting herself be controlled by the machine. Thus, it can be inferred that the maids are strongly influenced by their environment, working themselves to the bone day after day, year after year. The maids have no control of their lives; their reality lies in the hands of the dominant upper class (bachelors).
Pikna 4 At the work’s conclusion, the narrator exclaims, “Oh! Paradise of Bachelors! and oh! Tartarus of Maids!” (286).
How and why critics perceived Satan as a hero in John Milton's Paradise Lost. Satan is seen as the anti hero by the literary critics. He opposes God whom he believes as tyrannical. Satan was born as an angel .However; his thirst for supremacy made him an anti god. Satan is seen as a rebellious son who wants to be free from a puritan father. He allures all to be with him.As a result, number of his ...
Not only does this indicate sympathy towards the maids, but also illustrates the narrator is rethinking his belief that the bachelors’ lavish life is paradise when he sees firsthand at what cost this “so-called” paradise comes.
Both passages suggest that the narrator is trying to convey an overall message to the reader. This message is simple, yet significant. Neither the bachelors nor the maids can survive without each other, despite how different their lives may seem. Each world makes the other possible. “This is the very counterpart of the Paradise of Bachelors, but snowed upon, and frost-painted to a sepulchre” (275).
The comfortable, extravagant lifestyle of the bachelors comes at the expense of the work-a-holi c, exhausted maids of the paper mill.
This further clarifies how business and industry has the ability to categorize society, resulting in an over-powering, wealthy class and an over-worked, under paid, mistreated lower class.