Wtat are the common themes and symbolis in the short stories of "Soldier's Home", "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and "The Necklace."I have to write any essay on two stories with common themes betwen...

Wtat are the common themes and symbolis in the short stories of "Soldier's Home", "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and "The Necklace."

I have to write any essay on two stories with common themes betwen them and the symbolis among these stories.

Asked on by waqk

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I have included links below to the enotes study guide section on the themes of these three stories. From your question, however, it looks as if you only have to select two to compare and contrast. Can I suggest that you think about selecting "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and "Soldier's Home" for this assignment? These, to me, seem to be the most logical short stories to select to compare and contrast.

The major comparison between them is their presentation of a character who is profoundly separate and different from the society of which they are a part. Whether you look at Krebs or poor Bartleby, both are at odds with the society around them. For Krebs, his traumatic experiences of being involved in war have left him unable to connect with anybody:

He did not want any consequences. He did not want any consequences ever again. He wanted to live along without consequences.

This explains the kind of half-life he leads that is absolutely disconnected from the real world. In the same way, Bartleby seems to gradually cut himself off from real life more and more, willingly living in a prison before eventually dying in one, letting his motto, "I'd rather not" be his answer to any attempt to force him to engage with the real world.

Both characters are disconnected, but the difference lies in the cause of their disconnection. For Krebs, it is the trauma of being involved in war that causes his withdrawal from society. For Bartleby, however, it is a ruthless capitalist society that fails to recognise him as a human being and only sees him as an economic commodity.

Sources:

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