Bartleby The Scrivener, Symbolism And Walls

1158 words - 5 pages

Bartleby and the Scrivener Walls and Symbolism
In the story Bartleby the scrivener walls are a main focus in the story. They are also very symbolic in multiple ways whether symbolizing society or religion these seemingly meaningless objects have much depth in meaning and function throughout the story. My goal in this paper is to discuss in depth the symbolism of the walls in the story Bartleby and the Scrivener.

Herman Melville had a very low view of society, and that man was best in a roughed natural and free state. The worldviews of the author are important because when attempting to examine the indirect symbolism one must understand where the authors perspective during the time of him writing the work is coming from. Herman was married to a wealthy woman by the name of Elizabeth Shaw, who he tried to support but was hindered by financial barriers and had to borrow money from Elizabeth's parents. This situation gives us insight on Hermans Melville's first hand struggle with free will. which is a main point within the story of Bartleby the Scrivener a Tale of Wall street. Just as Herman Melville had Financial walls that obstructed his free will to a point of begging for money, Bartleby in the story was a symbol of free will who choose not to conform to the financial, social religious or political wall to shape his being. From the author's world view bartleby served as a hero.
Bartleby was a young man with his life ahead of him who yet he chose to stay to himself and not to socialize with his colleagues. He preferred to stay to himself where he felt safe behind his own self made walls. Bartleby was a social introvert who detached himself from society. He didn’t converse with his co-workers nor did he have any friends outside of work to speak of. His past had no ties nor did he seem to have any family members what so ever. It was as if he had lived all of his life behind physical walls even though it was all a creation of his mind. His only history was that he had worked at a dead letter office where his job was to sort through all the mail that was at a dead end and could not go to it’s intended destination. Typically most of these letters were discarded and tossed aside. Just like Bartleby, these letters had no future nor purpose. Some authorities in the field of literature also see the dead letter office as a grimm reaper of letters guiding the dead also foreshadowing the death of the main character. “one more reference to the Grim Reaper arises – the Narrator comments on Bartleby's previous employment in the Dead Letter Office.”
The story Bartleby and the Scrivener a Tale of Wall Street Bartleby decided he would refuse to do anything that was asked of him walling off outsiders from his own universe. No matter what was going on outside him he was completely separate from all politics concerning the company who he worked for, he who owned the building he resided in or the prison which he lived the short remainder of his free life in....

Find Another Essay On Bartleby the Scrivener, Symbolism and walls

Bartleby The Scrivener Essay

735 words - 3 pages The Walls Surrounding Bartleby Walls can separate and isolate people from the world. They can be physical walls that are around a person, or they can be figurative in the sense that a person can put walls around themselves, their lives, and their feelings. Herman Melville?s short story, ?Bartleby the Scrivener,? uses walls as symbols to show how the main character Bartleby is physically and mentally isolated with a lack of communication from the

"Bartleby the Scrivener" Essay

893 words - 4 pages the accommodating lawyer who employed him and recalls his eccentricities. The lawyer attempts without success to persuade Bartleby to conform to the conventions of the profession, and eventually to help and to understand. In a subtle way, this tale of a legal scribe is likewise about the writer Melville and his own sense of circumscription. " (website)The walls in the story are metaphors for Bartlebys entrapment in this world. He is always

“Bartleby, the Scrivener”

660 words - 3 pages In the short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” which was written by Herman Melville, the character named Bartleby is a very odd, yet interesting individual. In the story, Bartleby is introduced when he responds to a job opening at the narrator’s office. Although there is no background information given about him, it becomes very apparent that he will be the antagonist in this story. Unlike the usual image put on the antagonist, Bartleby causes

Bartleby, the Scrivener

1441 words - 6 pages those who follow the government or other system, voting, but not doing. To fix a wrong in the community, the community must passively resist the needs of the system and find time to act in a way to fight an unjust action. Works Cited Melville, Herman. "Bartleby, the Scrivener." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. Shorter 8 ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. 112-19. Print. Teresa, Mother. "“Being Unwanted

Bartleby The Scrivener

2020 words - 8 pages make it more successful and prosperous. In other cases, the employer tends to be lenient towards his employees. He has a tendency to care about their physical and emotional needs. In Herman Melville's short story, Bartleby the Scrivener, the relationship between employer and employees is a rather compassionate one. The employer, who is also the narrator, has a tendency to show a great deal of over-leniency and sympathy towards the character of

Bartleby the Scrivener: Lawyer Double

1074 words - 4 pages psychological double for the lawyer, he represents a subliminal death drive within himself, and the conflict between absolutism and free will. All three of these points are attributed to Bartleby because he represents each respectively. In Mordecai Marcus’ critical essay on Bartleby the Scrivener, he takes the stand that Bartleby is a psychological double for the nameless lawyer. While progressing through the novella, Bartleby begins to slow

Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener

554 words - 2 pages Bartleby- The Scrivener In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”, the author uses several themes to convey his ideas. The three most important themes are alienation, man’s desire to have a free conscience, and man’s desire to avoid conflict. Melville uses the actions of an eccentric scrivener named Bartleby, and the responses of his cohorts, to show these underlying themes to the reader. The first theme, alienation, is displayed best by

Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener

3556 words - 14 pages Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" The narrator states fairly early on in Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" that both he and Bartleby are "sons of Adam" (55). The phrase plays on a double entendre, referring to both the Calvinist Biblical Eden and to the view of America as the "new Eden." Many recent critics have traced the biblical aspects of this and other elemen ts of the story, claiming the character of Bartleby as a

Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener

554 words - 2 pages The extremely simplified definition of civil disobedience given by Webster’s Dictionary is “nonviolent opposition to a law through refusal to comply with it, on grounds of conscience.” Thoreau in “Civil Disobedience” and Martin Luther King in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” both argue that laws thought of as unjust in one’s mind should not be adhered to. In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby,” a man named Bartleby is thought of by many to be

“Bartleby the Scrivener” and "A Sorrowful Woman": Character Analysis

1788 words - 7 pages People one can never really tell how person is feeling or what their situation is behind closed doors or behind the façade of the life they lead. Two masterly crafted literary works present readers with characters that have two similar but very different stories that end in the same result. In Herman Melville’s story “Bartleby the Scrivener” readers are presented with Bartleby, an interesting and minimally deep character. In comparison to Gail

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

980 words - 4 pages Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville Herman Melville, an American novelist and major literary figure explored psychological themes in many of his works. Herman Melville was born in 1819 in New York City into an established merchant family. The family's fortune had taken a decline that led to bankruptcy and caused insanity to enter into his father's Life. Through his writing, Melville recreated a part of life that

Similar Essays

Isolation And Society In Bartleby, The Scrivener

702 words - 3 pages Isolation and Society in Bartleby, the Scrivener         Herman Melville's Bartleby is a tale of isolation and alienation. In his story, society is primarily to blame for the creation and demise of Bartleby.         Throughout the story, the characters -- Bartleby in particular -- are isolated from each other or from society. The forester's office, which can be

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

Bartleby The Scrivener Essay

1759 words - 7 pages isolation with God, Bartleby is isolated with his spiritual self, saying he “would prefer to make no change at all”(21). Bartleby determines his fate by questioning himself and his societal roles. He does not look to Christ in any form, not believing in a higher intellectual form. Instead he finds serenity in his civil disobedience. Another form of symbolism important to Bartleby’s isolation is the imagery of “walls”. The story’s setting is on

"Bartleby, The Scrivener" Essay

932 words - 4 pages The lawyer, although an active member of society alienates himself by forming walls from his own egotistical and materialistic character. The story of "Bartleby the Scrivener" is told from the limited first person point of view of the lawyer, or narrator. This point of view allows the ego and materialism of the narrator to influence how the reader perceives the story. The lawyer points out; "All who know me consider me an eminently safe man