© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Bartleby the Scrivener

Bartleby the Scrivener


by Herman Melville

Analysis: Steaminess Rating

Exactly how steamy is this story?


Well, seeing as there are literally no women in the 19th century world of commerce that we see here, any question of heterosexuality is simply a non-issue. As with most Melville texts, an argument could be made for the presence of some very, very faint homosexual undertones – however, in this story, it's not really much to base an argument on. While some might claim that the Narrator's interest in Bartleby is really some kind of deeply hidden desire for Bartleby, we feel that this is much more a story about the nature of humanity – what makes Bartleby fascinating is simply the incomprehensibility of his character. As far as sex is concerned, there's nothing to see here, folks.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...