Two short stories “Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” by Herman Melville and “The Hunger Artist” by Frank Kafka were both written by two different authors at two different time periods. Even though both stories are separated by over sixty years from one another, character wise both stories share the same main idea which is social acceptance. Both protagonists Barely and the hunger artist were rejected by society just because they chose to act differently than what was expected of them. When you compare the main protagonist Bartley to the Hunger Artist than you can find a couple of similarities and differences between the two protagonists which can help further support the main idea.
The First story “Bartebly the scavenger “is a written in the mid 1800’s. The story is about a lawyer who hires a new employee to his law firm by the name of Bartebly. Bartebly at first seems like an excellent employee, but then he politely began to refuse to work saying that he would prefer not to, and it went as far as him even refusing to leave the office and he inevitably began to live in there. Even when the lawyer shifted his office to another location, Bartebly still remained in the old office building until he got arrested and thrown in jail for vagrancy. Barebelly remained in jail until met his fate and starved himself to death. The second story Is called “A hunger Artist” and its written in the 1900’s. the story (summary)
When you compare Bartebly to the hunger artist, you are able to spot a number of similarities that both protagonists share with each other. Let’s first compare Bartebly. Bartebly can be looked upon by many readers as someone who is finding it difficult to adjust to modern society. At first, Bartebly was a really decent worker and he performed all of his tasks like he was supposed but than you can clearly assume that Bartebly had some sort of a mental breakdown and he simply quit working and refused to move on. I can only assume that It was a mental breakdown since the story itself didn’t clearly state as to why Bartebly stopped working. In the end, Bartebley’s employer gave up on Bartebly and he ended abandon him, leaving new tenants to deal with his employer. When you analyze the story from a different angle, however, than Bartebly can be represented as someone who violates social norms and the lawyer as society itself who is unable to manage a person who is different from the rest of society.