Barttleby's Novel: A Critical Analysis Of Bartleby

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ANALYSIS When James Hawes studied at Oxford (a then men-only college), he found that the world was “full of incredibly sophisticated, shamingly cool and impossibly well-connected young chaps” (Gallix 2). Those youngsters used to partying in publishers' holiday homes, skiing every Xmas vacations and using mummy's debenture at the Royal Court. Thus, he knew that there was a difference – a bridge between classes. Those young men were only two or three years older than him and were infinitely richer (Gallix 2). With that knowledge, he later wrote his first novel – a book in which the main protagonist, a nameless rebel, hate the upper-class people. In fact, middle-class hatred of the upper-class used to erupt regularly in Britain. From 1815 to…show more content…
Perhaps they have different reasons, but Bartleby is a rebel to the system, too. He is a non-conformist and so is developed by Melville because the author is concerned with the social paralysis of his time. Bartleby is a good worker until he starts to refuse to do his work. And then, he has the ability to do whatever he pleases. However, Bartleby's passivity has no place in a legal and economic system that increasingly sides with the reasonable and economically active individual. Thus, his fate, an innocent decline into unemployment, prison and starvation, dramatizes the effect of the new prudence on the economically inactive members of society, becoming Bartleby’s life as a criticism to the system. “Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance” (Melville 15). On the other side, it is the unnamed protagonist of the quirky Hawes’ first novel: A London waster teetering on a number of slippery slopes. He is self-indulgent and disaffected – he desires wealth but is uninterested in making the effort necessary to attempt to earn…show more content…
In “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, the clerk shows classic symptoms of depression, especially his lack of motivation or his refusal to eat: “’What will you have for dinner today?’ ‘I prefer not to dine today,’ said Bartleby, turning away.” (Melville 39). The depressing state also occurs to the protagonist of A White Merc with Fins, although he is totally conscious of that: “The more I thought about all my friends the more depressed I got.” (Hawes 168). He even knows that all of what he is planning could lead them to a worst future and that is depressing: “Logically, we should have been pretty depressed. I mean, how sad can you get: we were about to risk totally fucking up our lives, forever, for about the take-home pay of a bus driver.” (Hawes 17). It seems that the depression comes from the system in which they refuse to be part

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