2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

The Three Speech Acts in Bartleby the Scrivener
Jennifer I. Finley
Dr. Mary Shapiro, Faculty Mentor

This paper explores Herman Melville’s short story Bartleby the Scrivener using linguistic analysis. It examines three separate speech acts within Bartleby: the speech act of the narrator as he tells his tale, the speech act of Bartleby within this tale, and the overall speech act that Melville himself performs in creating his short story. Each of these speech acts, in turn, reveal the inability of Bartleby to connect meaningfully with those around him, the inability of the narrator to connect meaningfully with his employees, and ultimately the human inability to truly connect with others. Within this framework, the paper also examines the agency of both Bartleby and the narrator.

Keywords: Bartleby, Herman Melville, speech act, linguistic analysis

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 8-1
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:30

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