Bartleby, The Hero in Herman Melville’s short Story Bartleby the Scrivener In Herman Melville’s short story Bartleby the Scrivener, Bartleby is the hero. The reasons as to why Bartleby is considered the hero of the story are that first, the character refuses to write in his job in the law office. He even starves himself to death by refusing to eat, but in the end, the spirit of Bartleby still remains alive and haunts the narrator. Throughout his life, the narrator remains haunted by the spiritual pride and continues to struggle with the principles of morality and justice. Bartleby is also a hero because he not only shows his courage towards confronting the society using his will power, but he also shapes the conscience of the narrator. The behavior of Bartleby makes the narrator see the spiritual values, and makes the narrator feel guilty as he fights with his conscience. Bartleby is the hero because he fights the forces of capitalism and even though he dies, his spirit remains influential and changes the narrator’s perceptions towards life and the narrator develops guilt as a result of the behavior of Bartleby. To begin with, Bartleby is an idol. This is because despite being poor and homeless, he takes charge of his will and also commands and challenges the unfair society using this will. The narrator does not give a direct explanation of the refusal by Bartleby to write. This is an indication that Bartleby is working in a society that is unfair. The story unfolds in Wall Street, which gives it the symbol of capitalism. This implies that the narrator, who is the boss of Bartleby, is a capitalist. However, Bartleby refuses to work and later refuses to eat. These are the weapons that the character uses to fight the forces of capitalism. As the business grows, the narrator says this: “Not only must I push the clerks already with me, but I must have additional help” (Melville, p.25). This shows how repressive the regime under which Bartleby works...
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Robert Yantin Jr.
Freshman Composition II
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