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Word Count: 457
Bartleby the Failure It is not rare sometimes it is even common that an author speaks about his or her self in their works Herman Melvilles Bartleby the Scrivener is often considered such a story Many of the characters in the story and images created allude to Melvilles writing career which was generally deemed a failure The main character in the story can either be Bartleby or the narrator but Melville partially embodies both of them We are understanding towards the narrators reasoning for keeping Bartleby and for the sympathy he shows for Bartleby After the general failure of Moby Dick at least in Melvilles time he immediately wrote Pierre which was a deeply personal novel This self pity could have been continued in Bartleby the Scrivener In addition Bartleby seemed to feel that continuing copying was worthless possibly from spending many years in a dead letter office Melville probably felt this way but needed to continue writing to support his family When Bartleby is in prison he wastes away without abruptly dying a degeneration until the point no one notices his absence Melville had reached the prime of his popularity early in his career so when he published Moby Dick his career was already in decline His disappointment was only to increase as his career diminished until his death which was hardly noticed in the literary community The narrator also resembles Melville but in a different way Melville uses the narrator to view his own situation from a 3rd person perspective He attempts and is somewhat successful in getting readers to feel sympathy for Bartleby therefore sympathy for him On the contrary the narrator also scorns Bartlebys persistence after he stops copying In plain fact he had now become a millstone to me1149 In this respect the narrator also represents Melvilles literary critics Behind the relationship between Melville the narrator and Bartleby one can also see the relationship between the narrator and an ideal
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