Sample Essay

Going on, the author mentions Bartleby’s fondness of staring at the wall in front of his office. Wall Street has been defined by the author as a lonely, gloomy landscape both totally not natural and hopelessly empty, which perhaps resembles the nature of Bartleby himself. As is said by the narrator of the story, Wall-street is a place that is deserted all the way through the day as well as the night. It is just empty. The building where he lives too, which of week-days bustles with business and life, at dusk echoes with utter vacancy, and the Sundays are just despondent. This is the place which is chosen by Bartleby as his home; solitary observer of a seclusion which he has seen all heavily populated—a genus of naive and malformed Marius menacing amid the carcass of “Carthage! I now recalled all the quiet mysteries which I had noted in the man. I remembered that he never spoke but to answer; that though at intervals he had considerable time to himself, yet I had never seen him reading—no, not even a newspaper; that for long periods he would stand looking out, at his pale window behind the screen, upon the dead brick wall” (Melville, 2004).

Bartleby has created his own safe heaven at Wall Street. He lives there all the time, perhaps trying to ignore the world and its conformities at all costs. Without the defensive wall, Bartleby would have to face the world outside, and Wall Street saves him from meeting the expectations of the entire society and joining a world where he could survive only if he became what the society would have made him. He must either do the accepted thing or die. Since Bartleby cannot be conventional, he has no other choice but to die. As is said by reviewers, the character under consideration is perhaps the most secluded character ever seen in literature. The environment that he lives in has cut him off from nature as well as from other human beings. “By day, Bartleby’s window stares at a wall. Wall Street is a bleak and unnatural landscape, and Bartleby also stays there at night, when the bustling human population vanishes and the streets become desolately empty” (About Bartleby the Scrivener, 1999).

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