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Word Count: 379
The Life and times of Bartleby Recently I was privileged enough to read Bartleby a short story by one of Americas foremost authors Herman Melville The protagonist in this story if one decides to call him that his name being the title can be well described as both unique and at the same time a boring dullard Since his emotion and motives behind his actions are seldom described we are often find ourselves grasping sometimes in vein to try to justify his actions This being said I feel that this is the main reason for the book success viz the book makes one feel as if they are not intelligent enough to read the book when in fact they will only get out of it whatever it is they manage to read into it I think the best way to fully understand Bartleby is to look at the time setting for the book It is set in a time where the knowledge of mental illness was almost nil If a man like Bartleby where around today he would almost certainly wind up very quickly at the Kings County Medical center more exactly the Psychiatric Ward The only way to rationalize his bizarre behavior in my mind is to chalk it up to mental illness To me the path he took to reach this point in his sorry life is irrelevant a moot point I feel in a world with DSM-IV and Depakote there is no reason to explore the mind of this misfit There is of course the question of why Melville would pen such a strange tale Usually when an author of his prestige writes there is some deep Philosophical meaning to their story The key word in that last sentence is usually I believe that not everything done by great people is always great Even the New York Yankees one of the greatest teams in the history of baseball get
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