ABSTRACT

This essay examines Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street” through the perspective of media studies. It describes Bartleby’s communicational role by considering his inability to function as a medium. The article shows how the wall that faces the desk and the dead letters from his previous employment contribute to Bartleby’s “preference not to.” Surrounded by walls and forced to mechanically reproduce legal texts, Bartleby’s physical isolation prevents him from engaging in social interactions.

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