Posts Filed Under ‘Formal Writing’

Willing Those Who Won’t: A Short Study of Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener

Herman Melville’s, Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street, is the first person narration of a man who struggles to understand an unknown force and/or lack of force behind the actions of his employee. The lawyer goes through great analytic lengths to justify the actions of his employees and successfully avoids confrontation by defining their characters. As the narrator attempts to hide himself away from confrontation, one employee systematically breaks down his ability to analyze and the lawyer can’t make him fit in society. Read More…

Nick’s Natural Transformation

Ernest Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River” is a story of  transformation. The story begins when Nick arrives in Seney, a town that has been destroyed by a fire and transformed to rubble. Nick is literally unable to stay in a town that he no longer recognizes and instead looks for the river that he knows is unchanged. Metaphorically, he is attempting to immerse himself in a part of his past that he understands and finds comfort in. Nick is in turmoil and, like the trout in the river, clings to the firm ground beneath him as he struggles with the strong current of his past. Nick’s need to forget and his projections on the world around him reveal an internal struggle that is acted out in the external world. Through Nick’s bond with nature, and through various structural techniques, Hemingway’s story elucidates a conflict that is hidden just beneath the surface of the text. Nick embodies the world around him as a way to stabilize and strengthen himself before he can embrace the “swamp.” Read More…