(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Bartleby The Scrivener

             In his analysis of Melville's Bartleby Mr. Liao presents his view of Bartleby's estrangement from society. Mr. Liao believes that Bartleby's alienation was due solely to "society's lack of tolerance for social deviance." This is simply not the case. In the story Bartleby is not directly hindered by society's unwillingness to accept, quite the contrary. The narrator/society makes every possible attempt to accommodate Bartleby's peculiarities but Bartleby consistently chosen to rejects this assistance.
             Mr. Liao asserts that individuals not conforming to the "common mold" are removed forcibly. This statement is completely fallacious, and is guilty of an egregious error by omitting the Narrators repeated attempts to assist Bartleby, not by forcing him to conform but by allowing him to persist with what he "prefers" to do. Bartleby is allowed to stay in society even after his absolute refusal to contribute anything to it. Even when sent to prison he maintains his repudiation of society by abstaining from even the most fundamental actions of being human, specifically, eating. Bartleby was never "forcibly removed" by society, he simply removed himself.
             Mr. Liao also portrays Bartleby as a victim of his obsessions, but by doing so he fails to realize that one cannot be obsessed with nothing, for that is no obsession at all. That is only indolence. Mr. Liao also misunderstands the Narrator's devotion to mankind as being a societal pawn. In his perception of the Narrator as an avatar of sociological punishment, he vastly understates the Narrator's response to Bartleby's lassitude as simply "overlooking" Bartleby's flaws, but the Narrator did far more than that. In fact the Narrator did everything but condone Bartleby's decision to refuse to contribute to society. .
             The Narrator's decision to rid himself of his personal albatross by moving his offices is misinterpreted by Mr. Liao as a choice of personal reputation over compassion for his fellow man.

Essays Related to Bartleby The Scrivener

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question