Bartleby The Scrivener Research Paper

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“Bartleby the Scrivener" is one of Melville's most famous stories. It’s also a very significant story because of the biblical comparisons you can make. In the bible it explains Jesus’s temptations in the wilderness. He was tested for forty days and forty nights. In this paper I would like to discuss a few scenarios were Bartleby went through some of the same things as Jesus did, in addition to reviewing the concept used while writing this story. In one instant while Jesus was in the wilderness; the devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Luke4:1-13) Bartleby goes through the same type of temptation when his boss said “I owe you twelve dollars on account; here are thirty-two; the odd twenty are yours. “Will you take it?” “And I handed the bills towards him. But he made no motion.”(pg.549 143) While reading this I started to realize that Bartleby is being compared to Jesus in a sense. Bartleby refused to compromise his character for riches, which…show more content…
Its literature helped me recognize the symbolism in which Herman Melville used to relate to his story. Reading Foster helped me realize the common Biblical stories with symbolic implications and how the Christ like figures are ironically used at some point. It helped me make the connection between Bartleby and Jesus. Irony is a statement that has a hidden meaning directly opposite of its explicit wording. So when Bartleby says “No, I would prefer not to”. He wasn’t actually saying no as if he was refusing an order, but merely refusing to not compromise himself and not disobey his
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