Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
Herman Melville, an American novelist and major literary figure explored psychological themes in many of his works.
Herman Melville was born in 1819 in New York City into an established merchant family. The family's fortune had taken a decline that led to bankruptcy and caused insanity to enter into his father's Life.
Through his writing, Melville recreated a part of life that existed then, and is prevalent in our society today. Low self esteem along with self perception and how others percieve us, can be a factor leading to depression.
Depression, if left untreated can become so severe that it is possible to cause someone to lose the will to live.I will clarify this illness and it's ill effects in the story Bartleby the Scrivener
By Herman Melville. .
Bartleby the main character in this story starts out a worker in the dead letter office in Washington. Exposing someone to a depressed situation can have an effect on one's mental health. He later becomes a scrivener on Wall Street.When first hired Bartleby is a very consistent employee. " I can see that figure now- pallidly neat, pitiably respectful, incurably forlorn, it was Bartleby."
Circumstances as well as fate have a varying effect on every human being. They could have a detremental or positive effect in our life. Bartleby is an extreme example of a character trying to achieve his individualism in society and failing with the price of death. Bartleby's existence as we were led to believe seemed like a death in life existence. Bartleby was a man incapable of expirencing emotions and isolated himself from his environment. " A lofty brick wall, black by age and everlasting shade." A lot of Bartleby time was spent staring outside at the blank wall, which seemed to be a reflection of the isolation and loneliness in his own life. As time passed Bartleby verbally stated when asked to comply with his work responsibilities " I prefer not to." His protest for the work was very direct and yet very passive. Bartleby seems to have a distinctive, dysfunctional personality. "But he wrote on silently, palely, mechanically". This passage shows the debilitating effects of such a depressed life. " I prefer not to." seemed to be the only verbal
communication he was capable of at the present time. Although he appeared to be referring to his work subconsciously his true feelings for death were stated as "I prefer not to."
As the story continues it becomes obvious that Bartleby it becomes obvious that Bartleby could not be saved from himself, nor did he want help from anyone...