Conformity and rebellion are evil twins that humanity has been nurturing since the beginning of civilisation. As we conform to the societal norms that surround us mundane. we are trapped inside of this overpowering system where we easy lose ourselves as persons. On the other manus. the impulses of rebellion that live in our self-importance oblige us to interrupt from the province of our bondages. Yet. our superegos are seeking to maintain us in a sensible threshold. and enable us to remain in the system. As a consequence. people are contending a changeless internal conflict of conformance versus rebellion. As Herman Melville describes in his narrative “Bartleby the Scrivener. ” humanity is hopelessly fighting between conformance and rebellion. He presents us with images of entrapment and decease to turn to his concerns for the issues of conformance and rebellion.
The images of entrapment are apparent throughout the narrative. From the “lofty brick wall” outside of the office window to the sound-dividing prison walls which Bartleby died within. the storyteller traps the readers in his dark reproduction of world. Looking out the office windows. “the visible radiation came down from far above. between two exalted edifices. as from a really little gap in a dome. ” The physical parturiency of their dark and down office infinite is evident through the images of the dim lighting and restricted position. For Bartleby. the parturiency is no longer physical but psychological. “From his long-continued stillness. that behind his screen he must be standing in one of those dead-wall reveries of his. ” This unusual behaviour is a common act of such character.
It is non the act of ennui but despair and hopelessness that disintegrates from within and disables him from prosecuting in any productive activates. As the storyteller takes the readers to the concluding resting topographic point of Bartleby. he portrays the ultimate human parturiency. the prison. The utmost thickness of the prison walls “kept off all sound behind them. ” The images of entrapment are clear. that the ineluctable prison walls trap any life souls inside of their boundaries. However. to Bartleby it is merely another empty topographic point. for his psyche has already died long ago. The walls merely maintain off the outside universe from him instead than curtailing the already seized gestures of Bartleby’s. It is the topographic point where Bartleby chooses to get away from all. and remainder for an infinity “with male monarchs and counsellors. ”
Images of decease come as a natural comrade of entrapment. The character of Bartleby appears ghostly and lifeless. He is “a motionless immature adult male. ” who works softly like a machine in his dark and confined infinite. Unlike the manner the storyteller describes the other three employees of his. Bartleby has no choler. no aspiration. and about nil human about him at all. The “idly cadaverous” response. “I would prefer non to” from Bartleby. implies that this man’s spirit has died long before his physical decease. There is nil in this universe excites him or motivates him. go forthing him merely dreaded depression.
This emotional emptiness must drive Bartleby to insanity. to the extent that he gives up all life burdens including basic biological maps such as feeding and sleeping. Later in the narrative. Bartleby is sent to the “Tombs. ” because of the uncooperative nature of this adult male. The name of the gaol “Tombs” carries a symbolic significance of decease. In the narrator’s description of the inside of the gaol: “the Egyptian character of the masonry weighed upon me with its somberness. ” he reinforces the indestructible and inevitable power of decease with these chilling images.
The images of entrapment and decease are first-class representations of to the construct of conformance and rebellion. whereas Bartleby lives with the entrapment of his unfulfilling life. and eventually chooses decease as his ultimate rebellion. The storyteller. Herman Melville. constructs the abstract character. Bartleby. to pull out and talk for his despair and hopelessness feeling towards the destiny of humanity as a whole. Quite like the quandary Melville brought to our attending a half century ago. societies today are still fighting with issues of conformance and rebellion. We are so driven by the “errands of life. ” and seldom halt and believe about the grounds of our very existence. As the train of life velocities us to the concluding finish. we realize that we have traveled the exact same path as everyone else did.