In Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, what part do the setting and the subtitle ("A Story of Wall Street") play in the story? Why does the narrator so frequently mention walls, screens, windows, and views?

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The subtitle, “A Story of Wall Street,” appears to refer to the famous street in Manhattan, and would seem to support a particular reading of the story, in which Bartleby can be seen as an exploited worker, worn down by long service to the “machine” of capitalism. While this may be true, it’s not the only (or best) reading of the story. As you point out, the story is full of references to walls, screens, and blank views. The lawyer is at great pains to position Bartleby behind a screen; Bartleby’s window...

(The entire section contains 280 words.)

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