The narrator begins the short story Bartleby the Scrivener by “waiving the biographies of all other scriveners for a few passages in the life of Bartleby, who was a scrivener of the strangest I ever saw or heard of” (pg). Bartleby appears at first as a “pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn,” (pg) character who is hired by the narrator because of his sedate nature, which he hoped would...
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...find a food that he enjoyed. If I had found that, believe me, I would not have made a spectacle of myself and would have eaten to my heart’s content” (pg). The decline from fame to misfortune occurs rapidly in the case of the hunger artist, as opposed to the steady downfall of Bartleby, and his lack of physical interaction is the greatest indicator of his loss of popularity in society.
Marginalization, or the process of relegating specific groups of people to the outer edge of society, has taken place within populations all of the world, wether is is intentional or not. Human nature is inherently inclined to turn away from that which they do not understand, wether the difference is physical or mental, and both Bartleby and The Hunger Artist can be examined to reveal the actions of society as an individual is separated from it. In both short stories the protagonist
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