The Lightning-Rod Man

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What to expect

Chosen for inclusion in William Evans Burton’s Cyclopediae of Wit and Humor of 1857, with an illustration by Henry Louis Stephens, The Lightning-Rod Man was the one Melville tale to be available throughout his lifetime, thanks to reissues of this volume. More a parable than a character-driven story, The Lightning-rod man is a charlatan who tries to profit by selling fearful people lightning-rods during thunderstorms. The narrator has a difficult encounter with the Lightning-Rod man in this story about overcoming fear and superstition.

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