Alienation is a common theme in the short stories “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and “Soldiers home”. In both these stories the main characters tend to alienate themselves from others and from the world around them. Meanwhile these characters Bartleby and Krebs have many things in common they are also in some ways different. They are both alienated but sometimes in different ways and to different extents.
Bartleby’s character in the story “Bartleby, the Scrivener” is somewhat mysterious in a way and the narrator his boss finds him interesting. The setting of Bartleby takes place in what appears to be a typical office on Wall Street in 1853. Bartleby creates this reoccurring thought of alienation throughout the story. A once very diligent and respected worker who had snapped and decided he no longer wanted to do work. This began when Bartleby one day politely and oddly began denying the assigned tasks by his boss. I believe throughout the story he is facing an internal conflict. The reader notices this obvious struggle when this man begins to stop eating working and doing much of anything for that matter throughout the story. Herman Melville the author used imagery when describing Bartleby and how he lives on the street and instead of working stares at the wall with no feeling. This sudden change of emotion struck his boss as very odd and he was curious as to what could cause this strange behavior. Krebs the main character in the story “Soldiers Home” also alienates himself. Krebs was in the war and that changed him as a person. He became detached from the world and I think coming home was the climax for him in a way because he did not handle being placed back home in society as well as one would hope too. When arriving home he was a different man who could not look at woman the same way because of their complicated life style compared to the women he was meeting in these other countries. The theme of alienation becomes evident when he returns home from war and...
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