Essay on The Haunting of Humanity: Herman Melville

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Herman Melville (1819-1891) is an American writer who is widely acclaimed, among his most admired works are “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and “Benito Cereno” which both first appeared as magazine pieces and only published in 1856 as part of a collection. “Bartleby” was a story reflecting on the business world of the mid-19th century se t in New York none of its most famous and sometimes dangerous street: Wall Street. Bartleby a strange but intriguing man becomes employed in a legal office and in his life and death provides a sort of enigma for his employer, the reader, and the story itself. Bartleby , the Scrivener is a story that examines the ideas of a modern working man who is trapped in a mundane cycle that society has put him onto,…show more content…
The story itself recognizes not only Bartleby’s quite rebellion but the parallel it symbolizes with Melville’s views on conformity to society and its norms. “While of other law-copyists [Bartleby] I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done [acknowledgement by the narrator that neither he nor anyone really knows the truth of Bartlebly]. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of man. It is an irreparable loss to literature. Bartleby was one of those being of who nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and in his case those are very small. What my own astonished eyes saw of Bartleby that is all I know of him.” (Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener: A story of Wall-Steet) When the narrator himself first introduces us to Bartleby the understanding that the narrator does not know everything thus we do not know everything is presented in tenfold because it is a reflection upon a character not a direct characterization. The narrator reflects on interaction with Bartleby and the impression and assertions it has left on him. Bartleby from the beginning is a presented almost as he is still alive but we no better of it. Bartleby is already a haunting in the text as the initial story is told while looking back rather than from minute to minute happening. In this extent it’s interesting to observe that

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