A. Write your essay on Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener.”
B. Choose one of the two approaches to writing your essay:
1. Select a passage from Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and present your close reading of your chosen passage. Tie the specific results of your analysis to the larger text (the story as a whole), highlighting the role the passage has in the larger narrative and its effect on your understanding of the story’s major themes, its title, and its ending.
2. Focus on the writer’s use of any of the literary devices that we have discussed in class and answer one of the following questions:
o What is the significance of your selected story’s title, its beginning, or its end?
o What are the implications of a character’s actions? What system of values do they suggest?
o What is the writer’s view of human nature? Of the characters’ potential for happiness? Of their capacity for freedom?
o What is the symbolic significance or value of a given object, of an idea, or of an event in the context of Melville’s story? How does the author imply what the symbol stands for?
C. Whatever approach you choose, your task is to analyze a narrowed element of your selected story in order to understand the operations of the larger, complex work.
The presentation of your analysis must follow a very specific structure:
1. An initial paragraph in which you introduce the story and/or your selected passage, situating your reader in the text and topic under discussion.
2. A second section of as many paragraphs as you feel are necessary (2-3 perhaps?). In these paragraphs, you offer to your reader the results of your own analysis and quote your primary text to contextualize, illustrate, and prove your claims. Your analysis should include either a close reading of your chosen story/ passage, or a discussion of some significant elements/details of the story, as well as your understanding of the role these elements/details play in the larger narrative.
3. A final paragraph in which you tie the specific results of your analysis to the larger text (the story as a whole), highlighting your understanding of the story’s major themes, its title, and its ending.
• Write 650-750 words (double-spaced, 12-point font in a standard font such as Times New Roman, in a default format of a Word document, with 2.54 cm margins on all sides.
• Include a strong thesis and organize your paper coherently.
• Note: Any assignment that is not within this word limit or does not conform to this format will not be accepted as having been submitted.
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