All literary works are written from a specific standpoint.
This standpoint originates from the
mind of the author.
The author, when creating his literary work, has a specific diagram/plan and
vision of what the story is supposed to convey.
However, not all readers will interpret the
literary work in the way that the author him/herself has presented it.
Many times, in fact, the
audience will perceive the literary work as having an entirely different meaning than what it was
meant to have.
The short story, Bartelby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, has been reviewed by several
different critics as having several different standpoints.
These standpoints include Bartelby as a
Psychological Double to the Narrator, an apostle of reason, having biblical ties, and as being
A personal standpoint that proves to be different than those that have come
before it is to perceive the story, Bartelby the Scrivener, as a story of family.
Of all of these
views and interpretations of the story Bartelby the Scrivener, none can be perceived as correct,
except by the author.
Furthermore, none can be seen as incorrect because literary works, unlike
visual works of art, leave us the option to imagine.
In fact, our interpretation of another critic's
thesis is merely a product of our views on their standpoints.
I say that only to justify that we are
able to formulate our own opinions and form our own thesis just by reading the words on the
Bartelby as a Psychological Double
The critic of this standpoint is Mordecai Marcus.
He feels that Bartelby is a paralleled
character or a "psychological double" of the narrator.
In his criticism of Bartelby the Scrivener,
"I believe that the character of Bartelby is a psychological
double for the story's nameless lawyer-narrator, and that
the story's criticism of a sterile and impersonal society
can best be clarified by investigation of this role."
"Bartelby appears to be the lawyer chiefly to remind him
of the inadequacies, the sterile routine, of his world."
(College English, pg. 68)