Literature Study GuidesBartleby The Scrivener

Bartleby the Scrivener | Study Guide

Herman Melville

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Herman Melville

Year Published



Short Story



Perspective and Narrator

Bartleby, the Scrivener is narrated by the title character's employer, whose first-person point of view allows the reader to appreciate the lawyer's perspective of his listless employee.


Bartleby, the Scrivener is told primarily in past tense.

About the Title

Bartleby, the Scrivener refers to the title character, a scrivener or clerk who copies legal documents by hand at a Wall Street law firm. The subtitle, A Story of Wall-Street, references the literal and figurative walls that surround him.


This study guide and infographic for Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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