The aim of my thesis is to look at the way in which the theme of alienation is described by the two authors. Dickens and Melville are keen observers of the society they lived in. Both authors give their protagonists no chance to escape their doomed fate, and society seems to be responsible for their hopeless human situation that leads the protagonists to estrangement. Dickens’ characters together with Melville’s character try to escape from a diseased society, but none can. Even though Dickens and Melville used aspects of their own lives as material for their heroes’ lives, their works are different in theme and form. I will also look at the way in which characters are influenced by alienation, the way they cope with it and what happens with them in the end. As the consequences are negative, Dickens seems to criticize the society’s corrupt system and its power capable of making people passive and destroying their lives. I will pay attention to some similarities between the two works, as well as to some dissimilar aspects that make these two works worth analysing. When it comes to isolation, space represents an important aspect. Melville isolates Bartleby from the world by placing him facing the walls; he actually isolates him before he seeks isolation. When it comes to Dickens, society isolates people and none is given the opportunity to escape because they are trapped in the web of a corrupt system. Due to corruption, the endless legal cases lead to the death of those involved in Chancery, by leaving them broke after spending all their fortune in their fight with the system. Here we can sense Dickens’s frustration and his view of mid-Victorian society characterized by pessimism and unrelieved gloom. Melville portrays Bartleby as the workaholic type of employee, the one who is doing his job, at least at the beginning, the type of person dedicated to his work in order to please his boss. Bartleby symbolises the hard-working man in a capitalist society. Herman Melville created the perfect example of the alienated worker in his tale, the alienated worker who realises, step by step, that his work is meaningless and without a future, and death is the only option left. Bartleby is the reflection of the class conflicts and capitalist pressure of the 19th century American society. The conflict that exists between Bartleby and the lawyer is often seen as a labour dispute. “Bartleby, the Scrivener” represents the true example of the effects that industrial society can have on individual; it simply dehumanizes the individual and forces him to accept his fate and give up his ambitions; there is no point struggling against it after all, death seems to be the only way out. As far as Dickens is concerned, my focus will be on Bleak House, the first of Dickens’ novels whose real protagonist is an entire society, a society in which people are imprisoned by forces coming from the past, a fragmented society where human beings are self-divided, isolated and alienated. Richard Carstone seems to be the image of the victim of a greedy and corrupted society which tries to destroy the youth and beauty of its inhabitants, and which denies the possibility of freedom from it or from the self as well. Dickens and Melville created alienated characters in their stories. Bartleby, in his quest for recognition of a good and devoted worker, becomes estranged and involves himself in the alienation process of the labouring society. On the other hand, Dickens’ characters are entrapped in a corrupted society and they often witness the process of corruption of the past which extends into the present and destroys their future.