Illusion in Melville's Short Stories the Theme Term Paper

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¶ … Illusion in Melville's Short Stories

The theme of illusion is present in both Bartleby and Billy Bud. In both works, illusion is used as a way of showing how people cannot see reality. Also in both works, Melville is warning people not to see things based on illusion, but to open your mind and see reality. The major difference between the two works is that one focuses on the way people view society as a whole, while the other focuses on the way people view other people.

In Bartleby, Melville shows that people are viewing society based on accepted illusions. The major illusion is that work and money are important. Melville shows this because Bartleby is the one character who does not accept the system. This is seen where the narrator asks Bartleby to complete tasks and he replies by saying that he would prefer not to.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Illusion in Melville's Short Stories the Theme Assignment

This action is based on Bartleby not accepting the illusion of work as the other characters do. He sees the truth, which is that work and money are not truly important. This is emphasized at the end of the work when Bartleby goes to jail and then dies because he prefers not to eat. Melville uses this to illustrate how depressing the truth of life is. This is again emphasized when the narrator learns that Bartleby worked in a dead letter office. Melville uses this detail to show how what people struggle for really… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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