Bartleby The Scrivener Rhetorical Analysis

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Mit Patel Mrs. Rogers English 1102 March 28, 2018 A Moral Test Toughest journeys lead to the greatest destinations. Life will present a moral test at one point in everyone’s life. A reward associated with passing a moral test is directly in proportion to the difficulty of the test. They will face challenges and intense struggles to pass a moral test. Only those will pass who have the strength to go through the struggles. In the story, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” ambiguity in Melville’s writing and in the relationship between the narrator and Bartleby proves that there is an intense struggle to pass a moral test. In the story, Bartleby is interpreted as a figurative leper. A person with literal leprosy requires a cure but Bartleby have a figurative leprosy, which is an illness, requires healing: “A cure for the disease is absolutely desirable, but in its absence, we can still heal the…show more content…
The narrator hires Bartleby and doesn’t fire him when Bartleby refuses to do the work that the narrator asks him to do. The narrator’s first three words that describe Bartleby are “pallidly neat, pitiably respectful, incurable forlorn” (Melville par. 15). The narrator sees negative light from seeing Bartleby. The narrator starts to notice strange things about Bartleby: “he never spoke but to answer,” “never visited any refectory or eating house,” and “never went out for a walk” (Melville par. 92). The narrator realizes that Bartleby’s “body did not pain him; it was his soul that suffered” (Melville par. 93). The power to heal Bartleby’s leprosy is vested in the narrator as he is a boundary keeper of society: “Bartleby’s depiction as a leper – his isolation and rejection – that must be healed” (Zlogar 517). Bartleby’s isolation and rejection from society characterize him as a leper. The narrator can bring change in society that would accept Bartleby, who is unclean, as clean which would heal
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