Barn Burning And Bartleby The — страница 2

  • Просмотров 292
  • Скачиваний 9
  • Размер файла 16

should not be held accountable. Here one can see why Barn Burning is a social commentary of the times. The moral conflict in Barn Burning is between Abner and the landowners. And although he was legally at fault, Faulkner redresses the perspective of morality by allowing Abner to be the victim, again allowing Abner to reflect the evils of social inequity. An ethical dilemma occurs when Abner tells his son to lie to the lawman to cover up his actions. The ethical struggle is a conflict that Sarty must toil with himself. Should he or should he not tell on his father? Through Abner, Faulkner establishes a dependency on blood (family) and a perspective of right and wrong. DeMott states that Abner reaches his take on society through the exercise of his own primitive intelligence, he

makes sense of the world, and arrives at visions of the relations between money, labor, and the beautiful (DeMott 1). DeMott says that one experiences right and wrong through Abner. Through Sarty, however, who has not experienced or seen what Abner has, one reaches a different assessment of the situation. Sarty s view seems to be the traditional view, without sympathy for the individual (Abner). So Sarty rats on his father, destroying Abner s web of dependency on family. And Abner is the victim. Herman Melville s Bartleby the Scrivener is similar to Faulkner s Barn Burning in that the characters are a reflection of the author s attitudes toward society. Both characters delineate the moral, ethical, and personal problems that the authors experienced in their lives. In Bartleby the

Scrivener Melville creates the character, Bartleby, as a symbol of the individual against society. The concept of Bartleby is an abstraction of himself, used to illustrate Melville s own displacement from society. As said by Mark Elliot in An Overview of Bartleby the Scrivener : Bartleby symbolically represented Melville himself, who resisted pressure to write the kind of unoriginal, formulaic fiction that could provide him with a comfortable living. Elliot is stating that, like Abner Snopes who rebelled against his employer by burning down his barn, Bartleby is a testament to Melville as a misunderstood artist, who refused to copy legal documents and suffered from rejection from society on account of his independence (Elliot 2). Like Faulkner in Barn Burning , the time in which

Herman Melville lived was a direct influence of the conflict in the story. As stated by Frank Davidson in Bartleby: A few observations : The very idea of a double self was no stranger to the Romantic Period in which Melville lived (Davidson 2). Unlike Barn Burning which was set in the rural post-Civil war south, Bartleby the Scrivener was set on Wall Street during the same time. The conflict here, then is not because of social class inequality, but because of individuality. Melvilles s double self is a product of the society that he himself lived in and is reflected through the character of Bartleby. Like William Faulkner, whose message was equality and sympathy among human beings, Melville s was nonconformity. As a reaction to Emerson comment: For nonconformity the world whips

you with displeasure , Frank Davidson states, Melville commented on the world as full of lies a place where Truth is forced to fly like a scared doe in the woodlands (Davidson 3). Here one can see the character Bartleby as a product of Melville s own ethical dilemma against society. As said by Davidson, Melville disliked conformity, for which he was forced into to be able to make an income. The character of the Narrator/Attorney procured the role of society in Bartleby . The story of Bartleby is told from the perspective of the Attorney, who is also the antagonist in the story. The fact that the story is from the point of view of the antagonist is interesting because one is looking at the individual, Bartleby, from the outside in. And because the Narrator is so normal one never

understands Bartleby, but sympathizes with him as does the Narrator. In this symbolism of individual against society, Bartleby refuses to do his work, to copy. The Narrator, consequently, hires a man that does not want to work, and as stated by Frank Davidson: the narrator is urged by his professional and social group to return and dispose of (Bartleby) and, at last, in order to free himself, abandons the double to the mercy of the group (Davidson 4). Similarly, in Barn Burning , Sarty gives up his father to the mercy of the group , based on principles arrived at by the social majority. Even though, in Bartleby , the narrator was interested and perplexed by Bartleby, he is forced to get rid of him and as a result Bartleby dies. Though he parishes, states Davidson, he leaves a