American Capitalist Society In The 19th Century Essay

American Capitalist Society In The 19th Century Essay

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Herman Melville’s Utilization of Bartleby the Scrivener: the Story of

Wall Street As a Means of Criticizing Capitalism and Its Crimes

Against Humanity

Herman Melville's "Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street"
scrutinizes the alienation of labor, the social ideologies and the
dehumanizing consequences of the American capitalist society in the
19th
century. Bartleby is the main character in the story. The other
characters
in the story, Ginger Nut, Nippers and Turkey, barely survive their
pragmatic enslavement because they have been brainwashed by the
ideology of
complying and acknowledging their given place in society. Bartleby
separates himself from the other scriveners by daringly preferring not
to
surrender to the capitalistic authority. In 1856, Wall Street in New
York
City was solidly established. The 19th century brought an
"organizational
revolution"(Marx 102) to America which resulted in the creation of the
banking and credit establishments, brokerage houses and a prosperous
stock
exchange. A few years before Melville wrote Bartleby there were heated
conflicts between wage slaves and capitalists. Goods were beginning to
cost
less to produce

Lander Shafer 1 and craftsman could not produce goods so easily or
quickly.
Hostility and anger between craftsman and capitalists began to cause
street
riots. Visualize the drudgery of a repetitive task for hours a day.
Think
of losing all your inspiration and intelligent independence to the
degree
where your career becomes nothing more than a robotic reaction. We can
see
clearly how dissatisfying and hollowing a mundane task can be everyday.
So,
what can the unsatisfied worker do about their lowly position? First,
the
worker becom...


... middle of paper ...


...artleby, the Scrivener,' ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance
40
(fourth quarter, 1994): 278, 277. Marx, Karl. "The German Ideology."
The
Marx-Engels Reader. Ed. Robert C. Tucker. New York: W.W Norton and
Company,
1978. 146-200 Marx, Karl. "Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of
1844."
The Marx- Engels Reader. Ed. Robert C. Tucker. New York: W.W Norton and
Company, 1978. 66-132

Kuebrich, David, " Melville's Doctrine of Assumptions: The Hidden
Ideology
of Capitalist Production in 'Bartleby.' New England Quarterly Vol.69,
1996
Sept., 381-405

VAES, J., PALADINO, M. P., CASTELLI, L., LEYENS, J-Ph., & GIOVANAZZI,
A.
(2003). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 85, pp.
1016-
1034.
http://attitudes2disability.wordpress.com/2007/02/27/the-traditional-
model/. Retrieved 2009-10-12. "ableist model". wordpress. last modified
2007.

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