“Bartleby The Scrivener,” Annotation Reflection

I want to start off by saying after viewing both annotated versions of the text, I was able to understand the short story better. But comprehension of the text isn’t the topic of tonight’s blog post. It’s how the annotations affected my reading experience.

I am familiar with “Genius.” It is my go-to site when I want to search the lyrics of music. This communal annotated version of “Bartleby The Scrivener,” was useful in that it helped my analysis of the work. In most of the highlighted texts, it explained the line(s) in further detail. For example, they annotated the line, “It is, of course, an indispensable part of a scrivener’s business to verify the accuracy of his copy, word by word.” The explanation is a long excerpt of the duties a scrivener has. This is cool because It gave me a ton of extra information about Bartleby’s job, but it didn’t really engage my thinking. I noticed that “Genius” didn’t ask too many questions to make me think about the text in a different way, instead, it presented somebody else’s analysis of the selected quotation. This is awesome because it can help readers who are struggling with understanding the text, but I personally wasn’t inspired to think outside of the box.

The Slate article on the hand did a great job at asking the reader questions to interpret the text differently. The annotations were bulkier and denser than the “Genius” version but I found those more advantageous. The annotation for the line “I am a man who…” made me consider the narrator’s contradictory personalities he displays throughout the story and then made me question how reliable the narrator is. “Genius'” explanation was simply defining the line.

In conclusion, I would prefer to use the Slate article to further my understanding of the story. It asked questions and presented ideas to guide me into a new way of thinking. “Genius'” only use for me would be if I didn’t understand the story.

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