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Title: Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street

Author: Herman Melville

About the Author:  Herman Melville was an American writer. He attempted to start earning money through writing in 1839, but would not become successful until 1846 with his novel Typee.  He is known for his novel Moby Dick.

Other Short Stories by This Author: Benito Cereno, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!, The Encantandas, The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids

Awards:

Medium: online pdf

No. of Pages: 29

Original Publishing Year: 1853

Genre: Short Story, 

Age Rating: 14+, sophisticated vocabulary

Stars: 4.5

Positive Review: I enjoyed this short story more than I thought I would. I related to the narrator in being curious about Bartleby's true intentions and personality. I was invested in trying to predict and decipher this nonchalant character. He was seemingly immune to the presence of others, having little to no reaction besides his catchphrase, "I would prefer not to". I kept reading because I just wanted to know who this Bartleby truly was. What did he want? Why did he refuse requests from his employer? Although he was so passive, he had an influence over the other characters he may or may not have even realized he had. Bartleby was an enigma that I, nor the narrator, could solve. 

Negative Review: I was a bit frustrated by Bartleby's character because I couldn't tell what he was thinking. Although it was maddening, his nonchalant attitude towards everything around him is part of the reason why I kept reading. As to the story, I would prefer more setting-imagery so that I could better capture the world of the narrator and Bartleby. I like to be able to imagine myself in the setting to strengthen my immersion while reading. 

Overall Review: I don't often read short stories, and this is my first time reviewing one, but I really liked it. I appreciate the organization of the story and the roles the characters play. The story begins with a characterization, although the narrator provides little detail as to themself. The narrator is an observer detailing the explicable habits and personalities of his employees, which is juxtaposed with the reticent Bartleby. The other characters can be easily related to, I relate especially to Nippers with being grumpy in the morning, but Bartleby is less relatable because he cannot be properly understood. I recommend this short story to fans of Melville, those who enjoy reading short stories, or anyone just looking for something interesting to read one afternoon. 

Summary: A lawyer on Wall Street hires a new Scrivener by the name of "Bartleby". He is a reticent man but thoroughly does his job. He later refuses the requests of his employer providing no reason as to why he should choose to behave in such a manner. The narrator, along with the reader, spend the rest of the story attempting to solve the enigma that is Bartleby.

Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street (Herman Melville)
Tag(s) : #Reviews, #Short Stories
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