The End of Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville

1041 Words5 Pages
My presentation is about a short story called Bartleby, The Scrivener written by Herman Melville. Herman Melville lived in the 19th century and was an American novelist, a short story writer, an essayist and poet. He didn’t really encountered success during his lifetime but he did posthumously. He is now considered one of the most proeminent writer in the American literature. Bartleby, The Scrivener is the story of an elderly Manhattan lawyer with a very comfortable business who relates the story of the strangest man he has ever known who is Bartleby. We’re interested in the last passage of the story which relates the death of Bartleby and reveals a little more about this mysterious character.We should ask ourself :What critic of the modern society the author wants to convey throughout the text? Firstly, we’ll see how the first part of the text can be described as an allegory of death and then how the last part of the text sums up Melville’s idea about capitalism. Environment has been important so far to the story, and Melville's concise and powerful description of the prison yard continues the trend.Death imagery is abundant in the first part of the excerpt. The description comes not during the first visit, but right before the narrator finds Bartleby's death. Line 12 he describes the character of the masonry as "Egyptian," and mentions the "soft imprisoned turf" growing underfoot.And line 13 to 15 "The heart of the eternal pyramids, it seemed, wherein, by some strange magic, through the clefts, grass-seed, dropped by birds, had sprung". For people of Melville's day, even more so than now, "Egyptian" character would recall death, as the Egyptian civilization was known mostly through its funerary objects and elaborate burial practices. Incidentally, the Halls of Justice are called "The Tombs." The image of the turf is ambiguous. We can wonder if it is an
Open Document