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Word Count: 625
Herman Melvilles story Bartleby the Scrivener was first published in 1853 It is a story that has been analyzed often and opinions vary on what Meville was trying to convey to his readers However there is much agreement that his use of symbolism is frequently used in Bartleby to give the story a deeper meaning The central character of the story is Bartleby and Melville uses him as an outlet for symbolic imagery to show Bartleby as a figure of entrapment and death The images of entrapment are evident throughout the story From the brick wall that Bartleby stares at from his desk to the prison walls Bartleby died within the narrator brings the reader into a dark version of reality In his 1953 essay Parable of the Walls Leo Marx describes the walls as the controlling symbols of the story He also notes that in the story Wall Street literally becomes a walled streetMarx 84-101 The view from the office windows contains a light that came down from far above between two loft buildings as from a very small opening in a domeMelville 1091 The confinement and isolation is clearly shown through the images of the dim lighting and the limited and bleak view This confinement is not just a physical one for Bartleby his mind becomes confined also The final resting-place of Bartleby portrays the most extreme from of confinement the prison which is called the Tombs The images of entrapment are obvious Bartleby is trapped in a place that isolates him and walls that he cannot escape surround him But at this point Bartlebys soul has already died and although the confinement keeps the outside world from Bartleby he had already removed himself psychologically before being imprisoned It is in the Tombs that Bartleby decides to couple his escape of the mind with his body and leave the physical world all together Many of the images presented in the story convey
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