Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Essay

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Elliot is a Ph.D. student in history at New York University and a former editor of "New England Puritan Literature" for the Cambridge History of American Literature. In the essay that follows, he examines the multiple meanings and interpretations that can be applied to the title character of "Bartleby the Scrivener."

Almost one hundred and fifty years since it was first published, Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" remains one of the most elusive short stories in all of American literature. What is the reason for Bartleby's strange behavior in the story? This is the question that plagues the story's narrator, and it has plagued the readers of "Bartleby the Scrivener" as well. While many intriguing hypotheses have been offered over the years, no single interpretation dominates critical opinion or seems to fully explain the author's intention. Indeed, part of "Bartleby's" enduring appeal comes from its well-crafted ambiguity...

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This section contains 2,107 words
(approx. 6 pages 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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