Of Emotionism In Albert Camus'sBartleby, The Scrivener

Decent Essays

Rules, both written and unwritten, are made to keep people safe and are not supposed to be broken without consequences. Without rules, the world would be a place of chaos. In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, the narrator is a lawyer who employs a worker, Bartleby, who breaks the seemingly obvious rules of working at work and leaving when you are fired. Bartleby ends up being thrown in the Tombs and dying of self-initiated starvation. Likewise, in Albert Camus’s The Stranger, Meursault meets the guillotine after a seemingly senseless murder of an Arab man on the beach. With the exception of the ending, Meursault displays little emotion throughout the novel and does not seem to understand the emotions of others. Although Meursault does not intentionally choose to go against society as Bartleby does, both men’s journeys testify that death is the only way to be truly free in the midst of overpowering societal pressure. To begin, Bartleby differs from Meursault in the intent of his actions. On one hand, Bartleby consistently “prefers not to” do any work that he does not choose, resulting in frustration and anger from his employer and colleagues (Melville 860). Bartleby knows from these responses that his actions are abnormal in the workplace, yet he shows no remorse or alteration of his ways. One the other hand, Meursault, in the beginning of the novel, tries to act in a way that will please people. Meursault states his reasoning for writing the letter for Raymond

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