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Bartleby The Scrivener And William Wilson

1442 words - 6 pages

Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville are two authors who belong to dark Romanticism. They both have created various works and have different styles of expression. However, their writing can be related with one another at some points. The story of “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville begins when a lawyer complains that this profession has took him "into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men the law-copyists or scriveners" (Melville 2). Bartleby is a person who is hired by a lawyer; even that he has three other copyists working for him in his office. He always admits to do all the work he is asked, expect one day when he is asked to examine a file Bartleby replies: "I would prefer not to" (Melville 8). At first, that seemed acquitted, but rapidly it becomes a chant. At the other hand, “William Wilson” by Edgar Allan Poe talks about a character that gives everything to fulfill his ambition, who afterward loses his identity and don’t know who he is anymore. The things start getting complicated when he realizes that another person exists with the exact appearance, name, the way of speaking, and even the same birthday as his. Subsequently, William Wilson becomes obsessed with the second William Wilson and at the start they find it hard to ignore each other, while their peers thought that they were brothers. At the end of the story, William Wilson who is angry and annoyed with the other Wilson confronts him, where second William Wilson finds death. The main similarity of the main characters of the stories of “Bartleby the Scrivener” written by Herman Melville and “William Wilson” written by Edgar Allan Poe is because they both are described in the first person. I want to argue that the story of William Wilson and Bartleby conveys that a part of us that we loathe or we feel that did it wrong will still follow us through our entire life and sometimes the conscience is stronger than them.
In the story of Bartleby the Scrivener, the lawyer is annoyed and furious at Bartleby who is a silent and complex person who refuses to do everything, even to go away from the lawyer’s office, but nevertheless he characterizes to him specific kind of responsibility he cannot abuse or abolish. His workers maybe could try to do something and throw him out of the office; however the lawyer tolerates him beyond the limits while he continues the same way. Though, he cannot get rid of him. Moreover, Bartleby refuses to eat even that he gets his dinner; he prefers to just stay at the office and not do anything. Therefore, he starved to death, forsaken and unaccompanied. He symbolizes an isolated mortality, creating his own obliteration, not by his acts but by his oversight. His character cannot be controlled in any way. The word “prefer” surrounds Bartleby everywhere because he uses it consistently and in everything, yet his spirit is abiding, and invincible. He never responds with “I will not do...

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