"It is dangerous to isolate oneself; dangerous for an individual and .
oneself can be dangerous, as in the case of Bartleby, a character in .
Herman Melville's novella Bartleby. Bartleby's isolation was .
dangerous; it led to his depression and his death. The motif of the .
story is the isolation of Bartleby from society. Three literary .
devices support the motif: symbolism, descriptive passages, and irony.
The walls symbolize Bartleby's isolation from society; descriptive .
passages convey his loneliness; irony further expounds upon the motif.
Symbolism supports the motif of Bartleby being isolated from society.
The symbolism is in this quotation, "Still further to a .
satisfactory arrangement, I procured a high green folding screen, .
which might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though note .
remove him from my voice." In this quotation, the narrator put up a .
screen to separate his office from Bartleby's, isolating him from the .
other members of his staff and thus from humanity. The phrase, "I .
prefer not to," also tells the reader about Bartleby isolating .
himself. The phrase shows his lack of involvement, another form of .
isolation. The narrator tells the reader exactly what he did to .
Bartleby, very vividly, as shown below.
In the novella, the author tells the reader, down to the smallest .
detail, what he did to Bartleby to isolate him from the world. He .
tells us in this passage, "I placed his desk close up to a small side .
window in that part of the room, a window which originally had .
afforded a lateral view of certain grimy backyards, and bricks, but .
which, owning to insubsequent erections, commanded at present, no .
view at all, though it gave some light. Within three feet of the .
panes was a wall, and the light came down from far above between two .
lofty buildings, as from a very small opening in a dome. Still .
further to satisfactory arrangement, I procured a green folding .