It is also one of the most difficult to interpret. For decades, critics have argued over numerous interpretations of the story.
The main problem of the story is an unequal fight of a single person with the society. The result is determined and is not positive for a single man that has his humanity only as weapon. The title of the story presents a social code since the author mentions not only the name of the main character, but also his profession, which makes him inscribed in the social structure.
From the title of the work it becomes possible to address the issue of the power of society over the individual, set in the story.
Man becomes a little particle in a huge mechanism, loses its individuality and lives with a devalued personality. It is possible to draw parallels between this text and other literature examples where authors raise the issue of the city and the little man.
Announcing the theme of his work, referring to the fact that no one did not write about the copyist of law papers, the author uses the epithets like all scriveners are strange people Melville But the most bizarre of them is Bartleby. These adjectives are used as features and are not self-sufficient.
They have to explain what is so curious about these scriveners and what is so strange about Bartleby. The author, therefore, creates a sense of mystery, puzzle, which haunts the reader during the entire work.
The author focuses on the fact that the story is the discourse of reality, and not the discourse of fiction. To do this, he uses a chronological code by saying for the last thirty years.
Also in the first sentence the narrator says that he is no longer a young man thus emphasizing his experience and wisdom. Mentioning all the previous facts, the intention was to draw a parallel between them and the way they disclose the problem of power which is raised in the novel.
It is necessary to pay attention to the way narrator tells about his profession. The reader gets an impression of a person that became a master of his life. He is ruled by his own service, decisions, duties and norms that are prescribed in his company. It is interesting that in this case the person considers himself as a master, waiting for others to fulfill his orders.
This looks like a manifestation of the power of speech. Such manifestations depending on the judgment of another person can be found throughout the narrative. This is the moment which shows that a person can be extremely influenced by the words of others.
A thoughtful reading of the story helps to understand that Bartleby could remain in the office despite anything. Narrator treated him generously, he pitied the boy.
The chief of the office would have to explain to each visitor, why Bartleby violated the invented rules and why he did not obey the narrator, and the latter did not know the answer to this question.
Walls become a symbol of manifestations of power over man. A person is imprisoned in a certain framework; the city tells him a certain pattern of behavior, a wall limits his freedom. These two elements give a chance to make a conclusion that this story contains a cultural code that includes a big city and people.
Faced with a description of other scriveners working in the office, the reader is surprised to discover that they do not have names; they only have nicknames, which they invented. Turkey and Nippers have lost their names and slowly begin to lose their humanity.
For example, the narrator compares Turkey to a horse, and calls Nippers a hiss for the sounds he produced. The main thing for them is the work in which they see the meaning of life. Turkey spends all his money on red ink and shares it with people in power. Nippers was periodically visited by the idea that he was like a slave, but nothing changed, he could not change anything.
The owner of a firm speaking about his subordinates expresses the reasons that estimate the benefits they bring to it like he is speaking not about people, but things. Bartleby becomes a symbol of humanity to the reader because he is the only one who has a name and his own way of thinking Melville Turkey and Nippers are people who have no their own thoughts and are ready to complete all the orders given to them.
Bartleby is different and nobody knows anything about him.
The only thing that is clear is that he is strange.Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville Essay Words | 3 Pages. Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville Herman Melville, an American novelist and major literary figure explored psychological themes in many of his works.
The narrator of "Bartleby the Scrivener" is the Lawyer, who runs a law practice on Wall Street in New York. The Lawyer begins by noting that he is an "elderly man," and that his profession has brought him "into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set.
A summary of "Bartleby the Scrivener" in Herman Melville's Melville Stories. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Melville Stories and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” the setting contributes to the tone, the style, the theme and particularly the characterization of Bartleby, a scrivener working for the narrator.
Bartleby, the Scrivener & the Lady with the Dog Essay Words | 6 Pages. boundaries between social constraint and inner compulsion, Melville and Chekov reveal the restrictions forced upon one’s personal desires as they struggle to find a balance between conflicting values and social norms.
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