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Herman Melville "Bartleby" Essay

859 words - 4 pages

Romantic period in America started in the 19th century. Writers of that time praised the beauty of wild nature, created ideas; they turned against ugly reality with its misery, lies, and hypocrisy. In their poems, novels and stories these authors investigated man's soul and heart as well, they spoke about inner conflicts, person's feelings and emotions and how to join idealistic inner world with the existing reality. And one of the main representatives of American Romanticism is Herman Melville. He is writer who also touches upon these problems; he is interested in man who has to live between two worlds - inner and outer. And from this point of view the story "Bartleby" seems very ...view middle of the document...

" ["Adventures in American Literature," New York, 1976; p.280] He is not able and cannot live as a person. It seems that he cannot adopt in this world. Besides all that there is one more moment that proves that he is "shadow." Bartleby is person whose biography cannot be written since nothing is known about his past life. These lines from the story support this my view:"While, of other law-copying, I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man."But may be Bartleby is unhappy and misunderstood man, who seeks for friendliness and understanding. His soul suffers so much that everything has become so meaningless to him, and therefore he exists mechanically. His problem is that he does not let anyone to reach his soul. He is so unhappy and has got used to loneliness that he does not believe that someone can be his friend. He does not believe in future. I think Bartleby can be as symbol. He is symbol of ordinary, lonely people; actually he is sign that something should be done.And Bartley's phrase "I would prefer not to" is like protest. Protest to happenings in the reality. This is the only way, how Bartleby turns other's attention to his problems, feelings. Thus he wants to...

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