Comparison of Stories Paul's Case by Willa Cather and Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville - Assignment Example

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The paper discusses two stories "Paul's Case' by W. Cather, "Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Melville that to some extent they both deal with the problem of the person alienation in society. The subject of comparison in the review is the protagonist isolation from the world and the people around them…
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Comparison of Stories Pauls Case by Willa Cather and Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville
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Download file to see previous pages Both characters, Bartleby and Paul, live in their own realities, and this is what they have in common. They both do not want to comply with the norms of the society they live in. Cather points to this fact directly in her short story: “It was the theatre at Carnegie Hall that Paul really lived; the rest was but a sleep and forgetting” (Cather, 2014). In other words, Paul feels he does not belong to the society he is forced to live in and tries to replace it with the world of theater. Bartleby, in his turn, seems to be outwardly, and sometimes the author’s descriptions of this character suggest that the scrivener is dead. For instance, Melville uses the words “pale” and “dead” while he writes about Bartleby for eleven and ten times correspondingly.
Still, the characters’ attitudes toward the society they live in differ greatly. Paul is lonely but he tries to find his place in the world. He communicates with those who surround him even though in the majority of cases he despises people and thinks they are narrow-minded. Also, he lies to people, mocks at them, and tries to impress them. In other words, he does have some kind of relationship with those who surround him. Bartleby, however, does not want to maintain contact with people; he is not interested in others and their attitude to him at all. Instead, he creates his own world to live in: “Meanwhile Bartleby sat in his hermitage, oblivious to everything but his only business here” (Melville, 2012). In addition to this, the author usually refers to the place where the scrivener sits and works as “dead brick wall” and “dead-wall reverie”. These examples show that Bartleby creates a “shield” between himself and the world. Despite the differences, partly it is the character’s attitude to the society that encourages isolation. The characters are also treated differently by those who surround them. From the body of the short story, it follows that Paul is very lonely and seeks interaction with people but does not know how to express what he thinks and feels properly. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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