Bartleby And The Pyramids Essay

985 words - 4 pages

The metaphor of the pyramids in the story is written in order to explain that the limits which are imposed on human beings have existed from the beginning of time. Is another explanation of the metaphor of the walls, which is the main analogy in this story. Bartleby is an insurgent, he is rebelling against the society of Wall Street, against the capitalism, this rebellion against Wall Street implies a rebellion against America due to the fact that at that precise moment, Wall Street is America; and his problems are not going to be solved by leaving the office or Wall Street. The fact that the office is settled in Wall Street is a reference to the idea that it is surrounded by walls. All the windows are in front of walls of other buildings, but the window ahead of Bartleby’s desk is the closest to a wall. In his work and in his life Bartleby sees nothing beyond the limits of the walls. The story is an allegory and it contains a great deal of metaphors, but the chief among them is the walls as oppressive forces for the mankind, and the other metaphors in the story, such as the pyramids, are associated with the analogy of the walls.

One of Melville’s main concerns is the search of the truth of human life, because he thinks that the human beings are controlled by invisible and evil forces. In this case the evil forces are conveyed in the word capitalism, and Bartleby is going to resist this sort of authority. Bartleby is a very complex character because the reader does not know any type of information about his personality, although it can be seen that Bartleby is an extremely isolated character. This isolation is a mode to not get involved in something he is not interested, such as the world outside the office and also his own colleagues, because the isolation implies that Bartleby cannot have whichever type of relationship with them.

Bartleby seems to have a mental disorder and he refuses to do anything that does not involve copying or stare at a wall. When he is asked to perform other duties, he always responds by saying “I would prefer not” as a reaction against capitalism. This is due to the fact that one of the possible interpretations of the story is the Marxist interpretation, with a narrator in a comfortable position where he can exploit his workers. Another interpretation of the story is the one that compares Bartleby and The raven; both of them show the fight towards a figure with deep emotions. This story is a very important part in the narrator’s consciousness and morality, and also is an extension of the narrator’s fears and obsessions.

At the moment Bartleby stops copying he commence to die. By means of Bartleby’s personality Melville is portraying a mental illness and...

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