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Unformatted text preview: One of Melville's most puzzling short works, "Bartleby, the Scrivener," which critics have labeled one of America's greatest short stories, resembles his other masterpieces — Moby-Dick, Benito Cereno, and Billy Budd — in that it defies a quick, tidy assessment. Its dense symbolic structure has been called a "parable of walls," an illustrative story of Wall Street's self-imposed restrictions on the human spirit. The setting, a kind of emotional ghetto, is, appropriately, a bustling commercial center where people stride to and from work and discuss the coming election. In the office, the narrator erects a folding screen, appropriately tinted green, the color of money, to separate Bartleby, a mundane worker, from himself, a somewhat pompous, smug attorney. The other barriers, the black and white walls visible from the office windows and the dead-wall of the prison yard, Bartleby deliberately...
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08