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Word Count: 454
Herman Melville was an American author born on August 1 1819 in New York New York The author penned many books and later in life wrote poetry He wrote Bartleby The Scrivener with many themes The example of theme I will mention is responsibility and compassion mortality and charityOne example of theme in Bartleby The Scrivener is responsibility and compassion How responsible is the narrator for Bartlebys salvation Our narrator fails the scrivener who clearly needs help but Melville in no way demonizes his narrator In fact the narrator seems to go to greater lengths than most people would in his efforts to help Bartleby But it seems far short of what is necessary and indisputably the narrator stops short of his limits Should there be limits to our will to help a man if his life is at stake Mortality plays a role in Bartleby but not in the usual sense Death pervades the story not as the event in time that finishes a life but as a kind of poison permeating every aspect of the world we live in The act of living is the real death Living is a tiring and arduous process full of numbing compromises and submission to meaningless tasks Our mortality is unavoidable and our best intentions are often futile The final image of the story is the Dead Letter Office where the last undelivered communications to the dead are burned without ever having been readBartleby the Scrivener contains a very critical look at charity The Lawyer thinks of charitable actions in terms of cost and returns Poor fellow Thought I he means no mischief it is plain he intends no insolence I can get along with him If I turn him away he will fall in with some less indulgent employer and then he will be rudely treated here I can cheaply purchase a delicious self-approval To befriend Bartleby will cost me little or nothing while
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