Essay on Allusions in Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

Essay on Allusions in Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

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In “Bartleby, the Scrivener” the author, Herman Melville, uses indirect references to hint to many historical, literary, and biblical events. “Bartleby, the Scrivener” contains many allusions about important events that help connect this fictional story to actual events in Melville’s time period, before, and beyond. Melville uses allusions frequently throughout “Bartleby, the Scrivener” to help build connections with the real world and the fictitious world of this short story.
One of the biggest allusions in “Bartleby, the Scrivener” is the comparison of Bartleby to Jesus. In the story the narrator is confronted by the new owner of the law offices. He asks the narrator if he knows who Bartleby is. The narrator replies with “I certainly cannot inform you. I know nothing about him” (Melville 29). In this instance the narrator is denying knowing who Bartleby is to keep himself from the problems that could occur. The narrator denied knowing Bartleby in the same way the Peter denied Jesus in The Bible. The narrator represents Peter, and Bartleby represents Jesus. When Peter was confronte...

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