Bartleby Essays

  • Bartleby, the Villain in Bartleby, the Scrivener

    2870 Words  | 6 Pages

    Bartleby, the Villian in Bartleby, the Scrivener Herman Melville's short story, "Bartleby, the Scrivener," poses many moral questions, but refuses to answer them nicely and neatly. Unfortunately, Melville's ambiguities have lead to some unusual interpretations concerning the ethics of the unnamed lawyer who narrates the story.  While it may seem perfectly obvious to most of us that he goes out of his way to be sensitive to Bartleby's needs, beginning with the narrator's allowing him to refrain

  • Bartleby of Bartleby the Scrivener

    507 Words  | 2 Pages

    Bartleby of Bartleby the Scrivener Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby the Scrivener” introduces many interesting characters with many different personalities to us. However, out of Ginger Nut, Turkey, Nippers, and the Old Man who narrates the story, the one that is most mysterious to us is Bartleby. Bartleby is a scrivener, which, in simple terms, is a human version of a modern day copy machine. He does his job extremely well, hardly ever stopping his work and getting things done quickly

  • Bartleby the Scrivener: The Mysterious Bartleby

    640 Words  | 2 Pages

    “Bartleby the Scrivener”, by Herman Melville, is a work of literature with deep seated meaning. In this short story the narrator, who is a lawyer, hires an unusual employee, Bartleby. This man fascinates the lawyer to the point of causing him to excessively accommodate Bartleby, despite loss of profit from these privileges bestowed upon the nonconforming scrivener. Bartleby appears to be a manifestation of Melville’s inner feelings at the time of the writing of the text. So little is known of

  • The Rationale of Suicide in Bartleby

    944 Words  | 2 Pages

    The Rationale of Suicide in Bartleby One of the most strikingly confusing details of Herman Melville's "Bartleby" is the repetitive use of the specific form of his refusals; he "prefers" not to comply with his employer's demands. Bartleby never argues for his convictions, rather he refuses on the grounds of his preference. Such a vast repetition, along with its inherent perplexity, leads me to believe that the actual wording is symbolic in nature. When someone is asked for his/her preferences

  • Bartleby The Scrivener Response

    724 Words  | 2 Pages

    Bartleby the Scrivener, is a masterfully crafted short story, filled to the brim with character and substance but yet keeping simple enough in it’s ideas so as it could have multiple interpretations. This alone is what makes Bartleby my favorite piece of literature, leaving me lost in thought of my own psyche, contemplating the social commentary for hours after a I had finished reading it. One idea however kept returning to me, until I had decided that it is what Bartleby is to me. Bartleby the Scrivener

  • Who Is Bartleby The Scrivener

    878 Words  | 2 Pages

    Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Summary tells the story of a head lawyer’s scriveners at a lawyer firm. The story is told through the eyes of an unnamed narrator. It is told in past tense and focuses on an especially odd employee he once had. He starts the tell, however, introducing his three other employees, Ginger-nut, Turkey, and Nippers. Who all have varying quirks and problems. The Narrator takes pride in his ability to manage them and in his supposed understanding

  • How Is Bartleby Selfish

    831 Words  | 2 Pages

    generation is selfish. Homo sapiens have forgotten how to care for others and now follow a path of selflessness. Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street written by Herman Melville, takes readers on a journey back in time. Throughout this journey, the author describes his brief encounter with the main character {Bartleby}. As the story progresses, the author describes the actions of Bartleby and the selfless ones by committed upon him by the people around him. The author uses setting, characterization

  • Bartleby The Scrivener Analysis

    778 Words  | 2 Pages

    “Bartleby the Scrivener: A story of Wall Street” (1853) was a short story written by Herman Melville. The story begins with a short introduction of the narrator, an unambitious, prudent, lawyer who has an office located on Wall Street. In the introduction the narrator also briefly introduces Bartleby, a scrivener that the narrator has hired. The narrator goes on to say that Bartleby is the strangest scrivener he had ever seen or heard of, and almost makes the reader pity Bartleby throughout the story

  • Critical Analysis Of Bartleby The Scrivener

    1159 Words  | 3 Pages

    Analysis of Bartleby, the Scrivener Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby the Scrivener” is about a lawyer who hires a copyist, named Bartleby, who politely refuses to work. While most people would not tolerate an employee who continually prefers to not do any work, this lawyer finds it hard to let his scrivener go. Bartleby shows great achievement at copying documents and works hard all day and night. The lawyer soon discovers that Bartleby has begun to stay in the office and never leaves. After

  • Bartleby The Scrivener

    1660 Words  | 4 Pages

    effectively. The two short stories Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville and The Tenant by Bharati Mukherjee do just that. The authors of both stories effectively develop unique characters through description or narration, action, and dialogue, which fit in with both the setting and the plot. The main character in Bartleby, the Scrivener is indeed an interesting one. Although the name of the story may give the impression that the main character is Bartleby, it is in fact the narrator whom we

  • Isolation and Society in Bartleby, the Scrivener

    618 Words  | 2 Pages

    Isolation and Society in Bartleby, the Scrivener Herman Melville's Bartleby is a tale of isolation and alienation. In his story, society is primarily to blame for the creation and demise of Bartleby. Throughout the story, the characters -- Bartleby in particular -- are isolated from each other or from society. The forester's office, which can be interpreted as a microcosm of society, was teeming with walls to separate the head ranger from his employees and to separate the employees

  • Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener

    555 Words  | 2 Pages

    in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” both argue that laws thought of as unjust in one’s mind should not be adhered to. In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby,” a man named Bartleby is thought of by many to be practicing civil disobedience. His actions are nonviolent, and he refuses to comply with anything his boss says. But his behavior has nothing to do with morals. Bartleby is merely a lonely guy who does not wish to work and has nothing to do with civil disobedience. Thoreau says that if injustice “is of such

  • Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener

    3535 Words  | 8 Pages

    Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" The narrator states fairly early on in Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" that both he and Bartleby are "sons of Adam" (55). The phrase plays on a double entendre, referring to both the Calvinist Biblical Eden and to the view of America as the "new Eden." Many recent critics have traced the biblical aspects of this and other elemen ts of the story, claiming the character of Bartleby as a Christ-figure, and as such carries out the role of a

  • Individual Freedom in Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener

    854 Words  | 2 Pages

    Individual Freedom in Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener What motivates you to go to work everyday? What motivates you to dress the way you do? What motivates you to be reasonable when it comes to normal requests? Ah, the ultimate question in need of an answer: Who determines what is reasonable and normal, and should we not determine these matters for ourselves? Chaos would result, you say, if every individual were granted that freedom. Yet, we all do have that freedom, and Herman Melville (1819-1891)

  • Heavenly Charity in Bartleby

    668 Words  | 2 Pages

    get away without performing their duties. Bartleby, however, gets away with it. In Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener", there is one character that refuses to do his work and yet he is the main concern of his boss. His boss, an attorney and the narrator of the story, isn't concerned with firing Bartleby but instead is aroused with his actions. "Bartleby, the Scrivener" can illustrate misfortune, growing compassion and a similarity to God. Bartleby is a man who is in charge of his own life

  • Bartleby the Scrivener

    801 Words  | 2 Pages

    problems, and Turkey is an alcoholic. Enter Bartleby, the dreary, desolate, “forlorn-looking” applicant. For whatever reason, the lawyer hires Bartleby. In the beginning Bartleby’s production and work are excellent, but begin to seriously deteriorate throughout the story, after being asked to perform different tasks. Bartleby’s work performance gradually deteriorates until he is performing no work at all. The lawyer relinquishes any responsibility for Bartleby, his work, or his well being, until the

  • Isolation in Bartleby the Scrivener

    594 Words  | 2 Pages

    Isolation in Bartleby the Scrivener "I prefer not to," "I prefer not to," tells the reader about Bartleby isolating himself. The phrase shows his lack of involvement, another form of isolation. The narrator tells the reader exactly what he did to Bartleby, very vividly, as shown below. In the novella, the author tells the reader, down to the smallest detail, what he did to Bartleby to isolate him from the world. He tells us in this passage, "I placed his desk close up to a small side window in

  • Suicide in Bartleby and Life in the Iron Mills

    2668 Words  | 6 Pages

    Suicide in Bartleby and Life in the Iron Mills Life in the Iron Mills and Bartleby are centered on characters who are alienated laborers, looking for means through which they cannot be deprived of their humanity. Hugh Wolfe and Bartleby are both workers who have been victimized by the capitalistic system. As Karl Marx explains, the capitalistic system exploits the laborer and thus robs the laborer of his humanity through alienating the laborer. Both Wolfe and Bartleby become victims of the system

  • Bartleby the Scrivener

    1509 Words  | 4 Pages

    In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”, a story of “the strangest” law-copyist the narrator, a lawyer, has ever employed is told. The narrator experiences conflict with Bartleby when he “prefers not to” examine some law papers. Once Bartleby “prefers not to” once, he continues to repeat the statement on all request asked of him. This statement sends Bartleby into a state of tranquility, staying isolated in the cubical and refusing all assistance by any means. This state results in him going

  • The Theme of Power in Yellow Wallpaper and Bartleby

    2697 Words  | 6 Pages

    The Theme of Power in Yellow Wallpaper and Bartleby Many texts written in the nineteenth century have a very apparent theme of power. Authority can be seen very differently depending on the view of the transcript the audience is presented with. By looking at different transcripts within the text the reader has more realistic exposure to the resistance of power in that text. This paper will prove that transcripts of differing views allow for different interpretations of the power struggle itself