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Bartleby the Scrivener

Bartleby the Scrivener

by Herman Melville

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: None

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type :

Honestly, "Bartleby" is just a little too odd to fit into any of Booker's categories. Yes, there is a plot here – but it's not clearly definable by any classic pattern. Really, "Bartleby" is a pure exploration of human nature rather than a conventional "story," which is what makes this tale both so fascinating and so frustrating at times.

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