English paper

Address the prompt below in a thesis-driven essay of at least three full pages (double-spaced, in
12-point Times New Roman). Be sure to support your argument with specific evidence drawn
from the text. Avoid simply rehearsing remarks already covered in class and strive instead for an
original reading that showcases your own interpretation. Remember that what follows is a
prompt rather than a simple series of questions, and you need not account for every suggestion it
raises. Narrow your response to a single, well-defined thesis that can be defended with
appropriate citations. Also, bear in mind that an argumentative paper (especially one this short)
generally avoids summary and long quotation. Assume that your reader is already an expert (or is
at least posing as one). Don’t retell the story; argue for your particular reading

1. “Mortified as I was at his behavior, and resolved as I had been to dismiss him when I entered my
offices, nevertheless I strangely felt something superstitious knocking at my heart, and
forbidding me to carry out my purpose, and denouncing me for a villain if I dared to breathe one
bitter word against this forlornest of mankind” (16).

2. In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” what accounts for the narrator’s oddly indulgent
attitude toward the titular character? Why not immediately fire and forget the rebellious
employee? In our discussions so far, we’ve mentioned compassion, fascination, self-interest, and
even admiration as potential motivators. Are any of these sufficient, or does the text suggest
more complex reasons? Why, in your reading, is the scrivener allotted such extraordinary

Papers will be graded on strength of argument (tenability of thesis, effective use of evidence, and
overall persuasiveness); clarity of expression (organization, style, and writing mechanics);
adherence to correct structure and formatting; and originality. As with all written work in this
course, essays should follow MLA format