{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Notes on Bartleby - E 316K Berry For Your Convenience Notes...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
E 316K, Berry For Your Convenience: Notes on “Bartleby”! Melville’s story about Bartleby (a well known and oft-quoted figure in American literature) shows us the flip side of Emersonian Optimism. Melville’s story is about assembly line-type [albeit “white collar” rather than “blue collar” work (in Melville the setting is a Wall Street law firm which specializes in financial legal concerns, primarily—obviously—of the well-off or wealthy)]. Communication among the hierarchy of boss and employees break down. Work— the repetitive work here in particular, since a scrivener like Bartleby essentially acts as a human Xerox machine— is shown to be stultifying to the spirit, particularly to the individual spirit. Such work easily produces neuroses, or behavioral ticks, in people; note here the examples of Bartleby’s office mates Turkey and Nippers. Certainly Bartleby takes the cake regarding neurotic behavior, however (or is he just a cautionless rebel of sorts?), as the workplace, despite his famous repeated five-word quote, is decidedly not a place of preferences. Emerson’s “The American Scholar,” in contrast, reveals the possibilities of the individual to be positive and endless, the world of nature a great training ground and life to be lived fully and honestly.
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern