Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street.
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"Bartleby the Scrivener" was first published in Putnam's Magazine in the November and December issue of 1853. It was republished three years later in Melville's collection of short stories titled The Piazza Tales. Written during Melville's decline in popularity, "Bartleby the Scrivener" attracted little attention when it first appeared. Since the rebirth of Melville scholarship in the twentieth century, however, this story has become widely considered a great work of short fiction.

Although contemporary critics have been unanimous in their praise of "Bartleby the Scrivener" as a work of genius, there has been little agreement about the meaning of the story. Leo Marx's 1953 article "Melville's Parable of the Wall" argues that the character of Bartleby was autobiographical in nature. In Marx's opinion, Melville saw himself as a nonconformist who preferred not to copy the conventional fiction of his day, much as Bartleby refused to copy legal documents. Alternatively, in...

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This section contains 369 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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