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"Billy Budd, Sailor," Melville's last work, is the masterpiece in which he delivers the final summation in his
"quarrel with God." It is a brilliant study of the tragic clash between social authority and individual freedom, human justice and abstract good. Melville also explores this theme in "Bartelby the Scrivener," his
famous story about a Wall Street law clerk who takes passive resistance to a comic--and ultimately disastrous--extreme; and in "Benito Cereno," his dazzling account of oppression and rebellion on a nineteenth-century slave ship. Completing this collection of great tales are the eerie "The Encantados," the beautiful, romantic "The Piazza," and Melville's chilling science fiction parable, "The Bell-Tower."