Date of Award
Mary Balkun, PhD
Russell Sbriglia, PhD
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Bartleby the Scrivener, affect theory, trauma
Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick and “Bartleby, the Scrivener” contain affectively unsound figures such as Captain Ahab and Bartleby that seem to disrupt larger narrative functions, both developing these characteristics in response to prior trauma. However, narrators are not privy to the extent of their feelings because of their idealistic attachments to the disruptive figures. This thesis examines the commonalities of Melville’s disruptive characters in both stories using affect theory, as well as how their disruptions illuminate the effects of repressed trauma in an increasingly capital-driven society.
Colandro, Lauren, "“Speechless, Placeless Power”: Affect and Trauma in Moby-Dick and “Bartleby, the Scrivener”" (2023). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 3089.