Herman melville "Bartleby"

Essay by SuseUniversity, Bachelor's July 2004

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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 interesting to me.

"Bartleby" is story about one very lonely man; in fact, it is story about the whole people humanity, relations among people and people's attitude towards each other. It is also story about loneliness, incomprehension and alienation.

Why is it this way? I say that already the very main character creates such image, it can be sun in lines that characterize him:

"...a motionless young man one morning stood upon my office threshold, the door being open, for it was summer. I can see that figure now - pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby."

Bartleby is very unhappy and lonely person, he is always alone, he has no friends, it seems that he simply exists, to be more precise - his body exists. He even does not try to get some friends or contact with other people. It seems that he lives in another world and is forced to exist in the human world. And that is reason why he withdraws from human activity and even life. He only copies those legal papers, actually it is the only he...