Examining Symbolism in Bartleby

Topics: Short story, Fiction, The Wall Pages: 3 (1031 words) Published: August 26, 2010
Examining Symbolism
Our lives have many walls that we must either stand there and look at or decide to walk around the walls of our lives. The foundation of every building has outer walls that construct the perimeter of the building. Dividing every floor of the building there are walls that serve a purpose to compose of obtaining smaller rooms. To have a wall is to surround, separate or guard but the walls often do more than this job. In the readings of Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street the main character, Herman Melville, discovers the connections of an person and civilization through the utilization of the walls and how the numerous individuals in the story respond to them. In a person’s existence, they become more insolent because of the numerous walls they construct that produces unexpected actions and will eventually lead to a disastrous demise. The speaker of the short story illustrates the office room with lucid aspects. As these images are presented, the readers are able to view who characterizes the civilization and who the individual is. There are two windows in the room of the office and they mutually face the buildings walls. The sight is explained as lacking any type of life. The one wall is described is giving of a white light from the sun’s rays although the sun does not shine on the direct contact with the window and the other window is described as exposed to a wall of brick that has turned black with the age looking appearance. These walls are represented in this term as part of a degree of the representation of how our society is presented in time.

The office contains three employees and the other part of the office has separations that are made of glass folding doors that set the employees apart from one another. These glass folding doors are opened and closed by the will of the narrator and provides division among the people who are employed in the office. As Bartleby is given a job at the office, he has a corner...

Cited: Lauter, Paul. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.
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