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The Confidence Man (full title The Confidence Man: His Masquerade) is Herman Melville's last major novel, a satire published on April 1st, 1857. In it, one mysterious man sneaks onto a Mississippi steamboat. He tests the confidence and doubts of the passengers, while conning money off of them one by one through different masquerades.

The novel is a satirical work, and an allegory for the broader aspects of human nature and human identity. It reflects Herman Melville's views on morality, religion, cynicism, and other philosophical topics.

It is also notable for being a book dealing with nihilism and existentialism before other 20th century literature.

The full text can be read here.


Tropes used by the novel:

 "IN WHICH A VARIETY OF CHARACTERS APPEAR";

"IN WHICH THE POWERFUL EFFECT OF NATURAL SCENERY IS EVINCED IN THE CASE OF THE MISSOURIAN, WHO, IN VIEW OF THE REGION ROUND-ABOUT CAIRO, HAS A RETURN OF HIS CHILLY FIT."

"IN WHICH THE LAST THREE WORDS OF THE LAST CHAPTER ARE MADE THE TEXT OF DISCOURSE, WHICH WILL BE SURE OF RECEIVING MORE OR LESS ATTENTION FROM THOSE READERS WHO DO NOT SKIP IT."

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