Desire in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick;

Struggling with Herman Melvilles Bartleby the Scrivener? Check out our thorough summary and analysis of this literary masterpiece.

Starting an essay on Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener

This is especially the case with Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”.

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

Unfortunately, Melville's ambiguities have lead to some unusual interpretations concerning the ethics of the unnamed lawyer who narrates the story. While it may seem perfectly obvious to most of us that he goes out of his way to be sensitive to Bartleby's needs, beginning with the narrator's allowing him to refrain from certain duties, to refraining from all his duties, to letting him make his office his lodgings, to offering him beyond what he owes Bartleby and securing him another position, to eve...

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In Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener," the lawyer performs charitable conduct toward Bartleby to acquire self-approval and an honorable conscience.

- Bartleby the Scrivener essays discuss one of Herman Melville's best known works from 1853.

"Race, Class, and Herman Melville" by Joan A. De Santis

The fourth physical characteristic that foreshadows the death of Bartleby is that he is described as pallid. He is hardly alive as he is described in deadly terms such as ‘cadaverous or pallid’ (Melville 129). The narrator’s use of language throughout the story provides a foreshadowing perspective from which to judge Bartley. From the first choice of Bartley not to perform duties assigned to him as a copyist, the narrator’s interferences a bout the Dead Letter Office reveals a mind incompetent of facing the realities. The narrator reveals that it is hard to picture a man through his nature and misfortune prone to a pallid hopeless (Melville 97). This suggests that a mind delicately attuned especially that of Bartleby shows an insecure situation in the world of frustration. Moreover, the character trait of cadaverous foreshadows Bartleby as someone who is corpselike. This is because Bartleby acts a law copyist and instead he is confronted with dead walls. The law office whereby Bartleby works is then viewed as a dead letter office, which is a place for a gruesome oppression over the spirit of human being. The narrator unwittingly foreshadows the death of Bartleby through the description of the dead letter office.

- Billy Budd essays discuss the plot of the novella written by Herman Melville.

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- Typee essays examine the first book written by Herman Melville that is based on his own experiences as a captive on the Pacific island of Nuku Hiva in 1842

- The Confidence Man essays examine the the ninth and final novel written by Hermin Melville.

Herman Melville Bartleby Scrivener Thesis

In Linda Brent's slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street," freedom is defined by personal space, shown through the complex relationship with compassion from others....

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The third physical characteristic that foreshadows the death of Bartleby is that he is described as incurably forlorn. He is described as someone whose is incurably forlorn meaning that he has no passion for life. He is a character who has alienated himself from the rest of society. As the story progresses, nothing in life interests or excites Bartleby any more. Even the ginger cakes he tastes in the beginning of the story foreshadow his later abstinence from eating, since ginger cakes symbolize lack of sweetness. Bartleby is represented as a character living in total isolation and alienation from the rest of the human kind. The character seems to feel safe in the physical office walls. This is because the office walls help him to hide himself from the world in which he has been alienated from and the world that he cannot survive in thus foreshadows his death. Without the protective wall, the character must come face to face with the figurative walls that prevent him from conforming to the society and the humankind and make him join the world where he can survive. This gives Bartleby two options; either he confirms with the rest of the society or he dies and the character cannot confirm to society. This leaves him with no other choice but death. He chooses to alienate himself from the world in which he could not conform to and leave it behind. The Lawyer is only a human being who stretches himself beyond the confines of his work environment and finally realizes that he is not the only one who fails Bartleby, but all of humanity. Therefore, the final cry—“Ah, Bartleby! Ah Humanity”— is a cry of anguish and sorrow of disappointment (Melville 45) that a case like Bartleby’s would end tragically in the Tombs and ends up buried with no one else knowing the mystery except the Lawyer.