Critical Research Paper: Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener

This is my final paper for my Major American Writers class. We have been given the chance to write about any topic found in any piece of writing that we have discussed in class. I have chosen to write about Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener.” In this story, I am writing about the lack of communication and understanding between neurotypical people and those with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). My argument is that Bartleby may be considered autistic, thus his incapability to discuss his reasoning and the narrator’s incapability to understand Bartleby. There is also research that suggests that Melville himself could have been autistic, meaning that the story was about an autistic individual, narrated by someone that is neurotypical, and written by someone with ASD. I don’t want the paper to focus whether or not Bartleby was autistic, rather I would like for the paper to focus on the difficultly in communication, comprehension, and understanding in the story. The paper should be 7 pages long. I will create the works cited page on my own, as long as you would be so kind to include the links that you use (there are already resources found in my outline). I have created a short outline that included different sources explaining this theory as well as an assignment sheet that explains the criteria for the paper. I have also included a copy of “Bartleby the Scrivener” for your reference.

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