Bartleby The Scrivener Literary Analysis Essay

854 Words4 Pages
In most works of fiction, there are many literary themes, elements, and symbols used. The stories follow different perspectives and views ranging from the narrator to first person. In Herman Melville’s, “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, the story is presented through the eyes of Bartleby’s unnamed employer. It follows the rise and decline of Bartleby’s employment and leads to his untimely death which is caused by, and the focus of, his unexplained disorder which one would assume the mannerisms and symptoms of clinical depression. Upon further analysis, one can conclude that “Bartleby, the Scrivener” was a metaphor for Melville himself and the way his life and career was going at the time. Following Bartleby’s initial appearance, the theme is developed into his existence and is centered on his actions throughout the course of the story. These small indications of gradual depression placed by Herman Melville and his early reactions to public criticism create a foreground for Bartleby and set a tone for the rest of the story, following his dive into a deeper depression.…show more content…
He works tirelessly, being the first person to come to work and the last one to leave. It is not until he is asked to perform a task outside of his primary job position that one starts to notice the bleakness of his personality. His employer asks of him to look over some documents in which Bartleby’s response is, “I would prefer not to” (Melville 1108). Bartleby’s “I would prefer not to” statement becomes repetitious and is said through the course of the story, when asked to perform any task that would take him away from his mundane, mind-numbing hired duty, or when asked about his family background and former employment. This initial sign of gorging himself in work to keep his mind off of his depression would be the first indication one might cue his

More about Bartleby The Scrivener Literary Analysis Essay

Get Access