Individuality In Bartleby The Scrivener By Herman Melville

1262 Words6 Pages
Individuality was a phrase known to many on the streets of Wall Street, in order to get ahead you had to be independent. You could not rely on people to reach your potential especially when it came to money. If we take into account of the full title, “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” by Herman Melville, we know this story has a deeper meaning than just a story about a scrivener and Wall Street, it involves both aspects. Bartleby is a copyists, or scrivener, in the office of a Wall Street lawyer who keeps order of his wealthy client’s financial affairs. The lawyer accepts the values of Wall Street while, Bartleby has a clear assumption on Wall Street and understands the value of individuality and being different in a market like…show more content…
When not Bartleby is not copying he looks out his window at a brick wall, does not make any noise or says anything to anyone. This demonstrates the strength of his isolation because he acts as if he is in solitary confinement and is secluded from human contact. He sticks by himself and locks himself from the world. Bartleby’s habit of staring out of windows and lurking behind screens may symbolize that he wishes to be isolated and invisible. This can demonstrate that he rejecting everything that Wall Street represents and is being a nonconformists. Bartleby was left with two choices, lose his individuality and conform or die. In the end Bartleby chose death. Kaveh Khodambashi states the following, “The office where he works and lives represents the world and his refusal to leave it. It is probably the singe of man’s doomed fate. Like Bartleby, man is bored, confused and frustrated by life in this world; yet he has nowhere else to go and is doomed to live and die here.” (Khodambashi p.4) This demonstrates what Melville was trying to emphasize in the end about Bartleby and Humanity, and that Bartleby stands for the strength of individuality and what losing it does to an

More about Individuality In Bartleby The Scrivener By Herman Melville

Open Document