I have American Literature: Major American Writers from Early Beginnings to 1900s or something…on Tuesday mornings 9-12.
We were supposed to have read Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville for today’s class.
I suck giant balls and didn’t.
My friend in that class asked me if I read it when she came in. I said no. She was shocked. It was the only thing we had to read for this week and it’s pretty long.
So of course, since I didn’t read it, this is the day he decides to have us write about it before discussion instead of discussion first (so I can figure it out) and write about it.
I flipped through it super fast, read one page he pointed out like 8 times and sorta got it.
I started writing about it and my friend read mine and goes,
I told her it comes with practice.
Then i felt like a jerk because that is not something to be proud of…
Anyway we had discussion where we got in groups and talked about it.
The group I was in was with a 50 year old woman, and two relatively younger guys. They all said their take on it…and I was embarrassed.
They talked about how Bartleby represented man and the lawyer represented big business, similar to situations shown in the Occupy Wall Street Movements.
I had something entirely different. I automatically assumed it was because I hadn’t read it and missed the point completely. I pretended I was confident in my response and shared what I wrote.
I talked about how there comes a point in some people’s lives where everything is honestly the worst and no matter how much anyone wants to help or tries to help (the lawyer) some people just won’t give (Bartleby).
I talked about active living and how Bartleby had simply given up.
I said that when the lawyer looked at Bartleby and suggested he go outside for some air, he mistook Bartleby’s window glances as longing, when really Bartleby was just numb.
They sort of agreed, but probably just to be nice.
The lawyer started to show incredible interest in Bartleby, maybe even a minor obsession, because he could not crack him. He didn’t know a thing about Bartleby and genuinely wanted to. Whether or not he wanted to know to help Bartleby or silence his own guilt as a lawyer for not being able to crack a code is another story.
When it came time to discuss with the class, I raised my hand and said what I wanted to.
My professor agreed with me.
Participation points forever.
Anyway, still haven’t read the entire story, but I’d like to now.
I like Melville.