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Word Count: 468
Bartleby the FailureIt is not rare sometimes it is even common that an author speaks abouthis or her self in their works Herman Melvilles Bartleby the Scriveneris often considered such a story Many of the characters in the story andimages created allude to Melvilles writing career which was generally deemeda failure The main character in the story can either be Bartleby or thenarrator but Melville partially embodies both of themWe are understanding towards the narrators reasoning for keeping Bartlebyand for the sympathy he shows for Bartleby After the general failure ofMoby Dick at least in Melvilles time he immediately wrote Pierre whichwas a deeply personal novel This self pity could have been continued inBartleby the Scrivener In addition Bartleby seemed to feel that continuingcopying was worthless possibly from spending many years in a dead letteroffice Melville probably felt this way but needed to continue writing tosupport his family When Bartleby is in prison he wastes away without abruptlydying a degeneration until the point no one notices his absence Melvillehad reached the prime of his popularity early in his career so when he publishedMoby Dick his career was already in decline His disappointment was onlyto increase as his career diminished until his death which was hardly noticedin the literary communityThe narrator also resembles Melville but in a different way Melville usesthe narrator to view his own situation from a 3rd person perspective Heattempts and is somewhat successful in getting readers to feel sympathyfor Bartleby therefore sympathy for him On the contrary the narratoralso scorns Bartlebys persistence after he stops copying In plain facthe had now become a millstone to me1149 In this respect the narratoralso represents Melvilles literary criticsBehind the relationship between Melville the narrator and Bartleby onecan also see the relationship between the narrator and an ideal audiencethat Melville would have wanted He probably wished that his writing wouldbe more popular among the readers although he professed his own demise withBartlebys atrophy His other employees
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