Bartleby - Bartleby's Microcosm Melville in his chief works...

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Unformatted text preview: Bartleby's Microcosm Melville, in his chief works, applied an effective literary method of reducing outside influences in order to concentrate on a single view of characters who must escape some coercion or inner conflict. In an early sea tale, Typee, the main character escapes an unbearable shipboard situation, then finds himself a prisoner of Polynesian cannibals. Likewise, the whalers aboard the Pequod in Moby- Dick, Melville's masterpiece, are inevitably tied to the fate of Ahab, the relentless hunter of the white whale. In his posthumous short novel, Billy Budd, the close quarters of a ship again form the environs of an mprisoning microcosm, from which the title character escapes through an unjust death, meted out by a shipboard court under the captain's command. In all three situations, the main characters are limited as to movement, self-expression, and choice in a small world, complete in...
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