What Is The Interpretation Of Bartleby The Scrivener

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In James C. Wilson’s evaluation, the critic delves into the other means of interpreting Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener.” Wilson’s interpretation strays away from what other critics seem to focus on when analyzing this story. He chooses to reflect upon other characters and symbols besides the main rounded character. Wilson’s interpretation is spot-on. However, he also misses key points that would aid in his argument. Wilson begins with introducing another means of interpreting the story, through the narrator. He suggests that to actually interpret the story one shouldn’t analyze Bartleby because the author nor the lawyer provide enough information. Wilson even points out the lawyer’s admittance that he himself didn’t understand Bartleby. The lawyer refers to Bartleby as, "one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable"…show more content…
As he is confronted by the new tenants of Bartleby not leaving the premises of his former office, he tells these tenants that he is not responsible for Bartleby. He claims not to be responsible for Bartleby, but still goes back to convince Bartleby to leave, but he won’t. With that, the second tenant has Bartleby forcibly removed. The lawyer goes to visit Bartleby in jail and tries to make Bartleby feel better. However, one might wonder if this was him trying to present himself as a good character again. When finding Bartleby starved to death, he uses Bartleby’s last occupation in the the Dead Letters Office as a reason why Bartleby had a disorder. “Bartleby's disorder was brought about by his work sorting dead letters for the flames” (Wilson). This proves to be a convenient explanation of Bartleby’s disorder. This would also cause most readers and critics to want to analyze Bartleby more than the lawyer. The explanation does make sense, causing many to overlook the narrator’s ulterior motive: to convince himself that he wasn’t the root of Bartleby’s
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