The story is set up in Woedolar Mountain in the mid nineteenth century at a time the world was going through the process of industrialization. Factories were multiplying at a higher rate and the process of economic progression was taking shape in people’s daily activities. Within Mill town, where the story is specifically set, there were beautiful landscapes with a female dormitory belonging to the female factory workers standing out (Melville, 31). The female workers labored for long hours under poor conditions within the factory that was owned by a group of bachelors. There had been an early notion that the process of industrialization would culminate into situations of democratic fairness within societies but that didn’t see the light as boundaries became evident along the various economic and social lines. This resulted out of the mechanization that was taking place in various factories.
Melville, the author of the story, casts several doubting questions on the notion of industrialization as he compares and contrasts the two sets of people who are the privileged bachelors and the unprivileged maids. He starts by highlighting the lavish life the bachelors live and argues that it makes them be out of touch with the realities of life (Melville, 31). He then focuses his attention on the inhuman conditions in which the maids, who are essentially the main factory workers, live in. Melville states that the maids are made to work like slaves by exhausting themselves till they become as blank as the very same paper sheets that they are producing in the factories. He separates the two social classes of the maids and the bachelors through the usage of imagery in the form of Heaven and Hell to highlight the capitalistic ideological culture that is dominantly cultivated at that particular time. This paper, therefore, endeavors to enumerate the various gaps that exist within this society and explores the manner in which the two separate worlds make each other exist.