Social Deviance in Bartleby the Scrivener

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Social Deviance in Bartleby the Scrivener

Bartleby the Scrivener is a story that takes place on Wall

Street, peopled by workers of a common mold. Being a non-conformatist of

the most extreme type, Bartleby is eventually suffers a death of

attrition. The message that Melville intends for the reader is how

society has little tolerance for social deviance.

I mentioned a common mold, the engine which impelled the

"society" of Wall Street to keep on existing. This common mold consists

of working a full day, going home and relax, possibly drinking some beer

or whatnot.

This is where the theme of ostracization of social deviance comes

into play, expressed in the metaphor of individual versus society. Those

who do not fit into the common mold are pressured to change or are

removed forcibly. Bartleby is an example of a character that doesnÍt fit

anywhere even near the mold...

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