Herman Melville Essays

Bartleby the Scrivener

"Strangely huddled at the base of the wall, his knees drawn up, and lying on his side, his head touching the cold stones, I saw the wasted Bartleby. I felt his hand, when a tingling shiver ran up my arm and down my spine to my feet" (1173).

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Bartleby the Scrivener

The characters of many poems, stories, and other works of art act as critics or representations of the author's society. American writers Benjamin Franklin and Herman Melville both commented on their respective eras using this method. Franklin...

Bartleby the Scrivener

The narrator and Bartleby - principle characters of Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener - are opposite sides of the same coin. Their perspectives and connections to life seem to be similar. However, the narrator thrives in the...

Bartleby the Scrivener

In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” the setting contributes to the tone, the style, the theme and particularly the characterization of Bartleby, a scrivener working for the narrator. The parallelism between the setting and the...

Benito Cereno

Before the truth surrounding the strange fate of Benito Cereno becomes apparent, Herman Melville effects an intriguing juxtaposition between Don Benito and Babo while the latter adheres to the toilette of his "master." Captain Delano, while...

Billy Budd

To read Herman Melville's Billy Budd is to experience feelings of intense agony and helpless injustice. Billy Budd, a "Handsome Sailor," adored by his shipmates for his intrinsic goodness, is condemned to death by a seemingly formalistic and...

12th Grade

Moby Dick

When you meet someone new, perhaps the best thing to do is not to “judge a book by its cover,” but is not doing so that a possibility in the world we live in? Not only relevant to today, judgment based on physical attributes traces back to the...

11th Grade

Moby Dick

Melville’s novel, Moby Dick, is filled with symbolism and messages that relate to human behavior and the effects of that on the world. This is shown in Chapter 87 ‘The Grand Armada,’ which takes place while the Pequod is traveling through straits....

Moby Dick

Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, attacks the views of the Transcendentalists by portraying Moby Dick, the white whale, as the personification of evil. This completely opposes the Transcendentalist idea that there is only good in the...

Moby Dick

Among the numerous themes and ideas that author Herman Melville expresses in Moby Dick, one of the less examined is the superiority of the primitive man to the modern man. As an undertone running through the entire book, one can see in Moby Dick...