Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street | Critical Essay by Ted Billy

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street.
This section contains 3,718 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Ted Billy

SOURCE: "Eros and Thanatos in 'Bartleby'," in Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring, 1975, pp. 21-32.

In the following essay, Billy interprets the narrator and Bartleby, respectively, as fictional projections of eros and thanatos principles in Melville's own psyche, and considers "Bartleby" a portrait of psychological conflict between the life and death instincts.

The final comment of Melville's narrator in "Bartleby the Scrivener" ("Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!") acts as a synecdoche for the irreconcilable struggle that animates the novella. This brief statement of commiseration does more than merely link Bartleby's predicament to the universal human situation. It pinpoints the root of the conflict—the antagonism between the isolated individual and the whole of society. Melville chooses as his theme the tragic fragmentation of the human sensibility. This fragmentation in man's psyche stems from the loss of the intrinsic interaction between the...

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This section contains 3,718 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ted Billy
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