Devil's Dungeon Essay

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It is not the famous song everyone knows, but humming to the similar tune, “over the mountain, and through the valley, to the paper mill we go”. Well-known author, Herman Melville, triumphs the category of using descriptive language to transport the reader to another place in his book titled, The Tartarus of Maids. Melville’s use of description of the setting and situation, assist in painting a picture of workplace conditions in the whitewashed paper mill of Devil’s Dungeon. The author takes the reader on a journey into a secluded, deep area of the mountains called, Devil’s Dungeon. First the main character finds himself in the predicament of needing a way to obtain envelopes for his seeds, so he decides to make the journey to the paper mill himself. At a point on the character’s journey, “the ravine […] expandingly descends into a great, purple, hopper-shaped hollow, far sunk among many Plutonian, shaggy-wooded mountains” (Melville 30). Through use of descriptive language, Melville places the reader in the scene with the main character. Without this style of writing, the reader may be lost in the place and not be able to relate to what is to come upon the visit to the paper mill. Melville goes into more depth about the descent setting by using descriptions like “enormous boulders”, “gray-haired pines”, and “spike-knotted…show more content…
Cupid mentions one girl was a nurse previously, but there was not much work, so she is now at the paper-mill. Ciula may describe the girls’ traits as an “intellectual power, skill, and art”. It is too bad the mismanagement does not allow gratitude to be given where due though. The girls in the story must work as they come from small villages. According to Ciula, work “offers instant discipline, identity, and worth. It structures our time and imposes a rhythm ton our lives” (Ciula 7), but “work is an artificial need manufactured by our history and culture”

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