Sarah's Reviews > Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street

Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville
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Nov 18, 09


It's about capitalism, with Bartleby functioning as a Jesus-like figure. The subtitle reads, “A Story of Wall-Street". Walls, of all kinds, are a reoccurring theme in this story.

Bartleby is humanity, itself: life, death, and singularity. His difference, or disability, his adamant presence exposes the lawyer for what he truly is and arguably transforms him. I read this because a book I'm currently reading (about autism) discussed it at length. I've also heard it referenced on numerous other occasions: "I would prefer not to."

It loses a star because there are no girls. I'm petty that way.
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message 1: by Trenton (new)

Trenton Judson lol, the girl thing is funny. One of my favorite short stories, if you can call it a "short" story, it's really more of a novella. The Jesus comparison is made often, as is Billy Budd in the novella of the same name and even the whale in Moby Dick. Melville has a lot of Christian ties, although officially he was on the fence when it came to religion. I like to think he was secretly an atheist, but that's just wishful thinking.


Sarah Funny, had I known it was a "novella" I probably wouldn't have read the whole thing in a sitting. I've been looking over some of the Bartleby discussions, and I'm surprised how many different interpretations there are.

I've never read Moby Dick. I'm afraid of it! But I've made peace with religion in classic literature. It's inevitable.


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