College Literature Essay

The story is Melville – Bartleby the Scrivener and it is 29 pages. Please be sure to read the instructions, it would be very appreciated!

Address the prompt below in a thesis-driven essay of at least three full pages (double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman). Be sure to support your argument with specific evidence drawn from the text. Avoid simply rehearsing remarks already covered in class and strive instead for an original reading that showcases your own interpretation. Remember that what follows is a prompt rather than a simple series of questions, and you need not account for every suggestion it raises. Narrow your response to a single, well-defined thesis that can be defended with appropriate citations. Also, bear in mind that an argumentative paper (especially one this short) generally avoids summary and long quotation. Assume that your reader is already an expert (or is at least posing as one). Don’t retell the story; argue for your particular reading.

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“Mortified as I was at his behavior, and resolved as I had been to dismiss him when I entered my offices, nevertheless I strangely felt something superstitious knocking at my heart, and forbidding me to carry out my purpose, and denouncing me for a villain if I dared to breathe one bitter word against this forlornest of mankind” (16).

In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” what accounts for the narrator’s oddly indulgent attitude toward the titular character? Why not immediately fire and forget the rebellious employee? In our discussions so far, we’ve mentioned compassion, fascination, self-interest, and even admiration as potential motivators. Are any of these sufficient, or does the text suggest more complex reasons? Why, in your reading, is the scrivener allotted such extraordinary consideration?

Papers will be graded on strength of argument (tenability of thesis, effective use of evidence, and overall persuasiveness); clarity of expression (organization, style, and writing mechanics); adherence to correct structure and formatting; and originality.

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