Many Views of Melville's Bartelby The Scrivener Essay

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All literary works are written from a specific standpoint. This standpoint originates from the mind of the author. The author, when creating his literary work, has a specific diagram/plan and vision of what the story is supposed to convey. However, not all readers will interpret the literary work in the way that the author him/herself has presented it. Many times, in fact, the audience will perceive the literary work as having an entirely different meaning than what it was meant to have. The short story, Bartelby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, has been reviewed by several different critics as having several different standpoints. These standpoints include Bartelby as a Psychological Double to the Narrator, an apostle of…show more content…
The narrator, confidently from the very introduction of Bartelby’s character, describes his every move and demeanors as if it was his own. He is able to successfully convey to the unidentified audience who Bartelby is, while managing to leave room for mystery within the character. The familiarity in the narrator’s description leads to a sort of justification of Marcus’ theory of the narrator and Bartelby as a “Psychological Double.” However, in order to successfully justify this theory, I believe that Marcus should have proceeded to convince his audience that the other characters, Turkey, Nippers, and Ginger Nut, are also alter personalities of the narrator. They too were an intricate part of the narrator’s description. Each of these characters possessed several positive and negative qualities quite familiar to the narrator. I feel that it is inadequate for Marcus to solely choose Bartelby and leave out the other characters as alternate personalities. Critique of Reason The critic, R.K. Gupta, uses “reason” to justify his standpoint on Melville’s, Bartelby the Scrivener. Gupta writes: “ The unnamed narrator of “Bartelby, the Scrivener” is an apostle or reason. His outlook on life is clear, unambiguous, and uncluttered by mysticism or imagination. Reason and common sense are his deities, and he looks upon them as infallible guides to human conduct.” (IJ of

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