Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street | Critical Essay by Mordecai Marcus

This literature criticism consists of approximately 6 pages of analysis & critique of Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street.
This section contains 2,255 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Harold Kaplan

Critical Essay by Mordecai Marcus

SOURCE: "Melville's Bartleby as Psychological Double," in College English, Vol. 23, No. 5, February, 1962, pp. 365-68.

Marcus is an American poet, critic, and educator who has written extensively on nineteenth-century American writers. In the following essay, Marcus insists that Bartleby represents the narrator's own protests against the impersonality of Wall Street.

Most interpreters of Melville's haunting story "Bartleby the Scrivener" (1853) have seen it as a somewhat allegorical comment on Melville's plight as a writer after the publication of Moby-Dick and Pierre.

Others have suggested that the story dramatizes the conflict between absolutism and free will in its protagonist, that it shows the destructive power of irrationality or that it criticizes the sterility and impersonality of a business society. The last of these interpretations seems to me the most accurate, and the others suffer either from an inability to adjust the parts of...

(read more)

This section contains 2,255 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Harold Kaplan