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Bartleby, The Scrivener

A Story of Wall-Street

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Author: Herman Melville
Published: 1856
Language: English
Wordcount: 15,649 / 52 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 58.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 6,990
Added to site: 2004.06.30 8192
More Info:

I thought might operate beneficially upon the flighty temper of Turkey, and the fiery one of Nippers.

I should have stated before that ground glass folding-doors divided my premises into two parts, one of which was occupied by my scriveners, the other by myself. According to my humor I threw open these doors, or closed them. I resolved to assign Bartleby a corner by the folding-doors, but on my side of them, so as to have this quiet man within easy call, in case any trifling thing was to be done. I placed his desk close up to a small side-window in that part of the room, a window which originally had afforded a lateral view of certain grimy back-yards and bricks, but which, owing to subsequent erections, commanded at present no view at all, though it gave some light. Within three feet of the panes was a wall, and the light came down from far above, between two lofty buildings, as from a very small opening in a dome. Still further to a satisfactory arrangement, I procured a high green folding screen, w

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 5 from 3 reviews: *****
Pax Long

This is a tell of Melville's outlook on society after the first industrial revolution. Melville, saw the sea which he spent much time loving as nature and the industrial revolution pulled Americans from nature and put them inside walls.

This is a very good story, one that was not very popular when it was written but the story and lesson applies even now.

J.David Knepper

Herman Melville tells the tale of a weird man in a strange relationship to his employer. At a loss for how to motivate his employee, the employer resorts to threats, entreaties and bribery.

When none of his efforts result in a positive change, the employer closes up shop and opens in a new location, but can't get his strange former employee out of his mind.

The end of the tale is less than satisfying to a reader expecting to know more when he ends a read than when he began. However, Melville's descriptive narrative is worth the price of admission.

R Stephan

Fine, well written short story, a character study of a mysterious person. The fog lifts mostly at the end.



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