Bartleby The Scrivener Essay Research Paper If

Bartleby The Scrivener Essay, Research Paper If you analyzed life so much just to discover that it was meaningless, that you were just a machine, would you,

Bartleby The Scrivener Essay, Research Paper

If you analyzed life so much just to discover that it was meaningless, that you were just a machine, would you,

shut down, turn your self off? In the short story Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, Bartleby does just

that. My ideas are very similar to those of Leo B. Levy. He believes that a spell was cast over Bartleby, and that

he was already dead because of a mental suicide. We have similar ideas about the theme, character, and setting,

and how they add to the story s darkness.

My ideas about theme are the same as Levy, that throughout the piece there was a definite murkiness seen

through everything, from the building where Bartleby worked to the writing style. An example of this murkiness is

The setting played a significant role in the story of Bartleby. The dark streets, the building where he

worked always in shadows. The fact that the story took place on Wall Street is key; during the day, it was bubbling

with people, while at night there was no one at all. This was because Wall Street is not a residential area only a

business area, so after five o clock, the place was like a ghost town. The interesting fact was that Bartleby lived in

the office, where he had no contact with anyone until morning.

On the other hand, Levy s ideas about how setting plays a part in Bartleby differ slightly from mine. He

says that Bartleby was enclosed by the financial power of Wall Street making the inference that Bartleby was

tweaked by the power that was around him. Also, saying that he was surrounded by blackness.

Character is the most important aspect of the story. It has long been disputed whether the story is about

the lawyer, or about Bartleby. In my opinion, they have the same amount of importance… without the lawyer there

would be no story, just as there would be no story without Bartleby. Levy agrees with me saying, the story is at

last as much the lawyer s as it is Bartleby s. Bartleby s character is at first perceived as lazy, but then the reader

learns more about his character. When Bartleby is left alone at night, he has hours to ponder about the unanswered

questions of the universe, such as the meaning of life, or the purpose of being. And after some time of thinking the

questions he answered them(what he thought). And that is what caused him to stop doing the tasks required for

everyday life, because in his mind there was no purpose to doing any of that meaningless work.

Levy has some other thoughts saying that the spell cast over Bartleby also falls upon a busy and frantic

scene, Saying that it is not original to Bartleby, that others have been the same way. Of the lawyer he says, With

Bartleby he shares the lifelong, frozen patience in which consists his strength and peculiarity that he is not

desperate… but merely devoid of hope. I would have thought that that describes Bartleby rather than the lawyer..

I think that I was on the right track, but that Levy went into more depth and detail. Over all, we had the

same basic ideas about theme, setting, and character, which are the most important factors in any story.