Awakening In the Story Bartelby by Herman Melville
In the story “Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville,” we learn the many decisions the narrator has to make as the story progresses. We first learn of his background as a lawyer of a business on Wall Street who deals with rich men’s bonds, mortgages, and deeds. He describes himself as a man who thinks the easiest way is the best. Others also consider him, as in the words of John Jacob Astor, an eminently safe man.
The narrator sees himself as a strong-willed employer. However, he is merely a push over. This is first illustrated through his two current employees Turkey and Nippers. Turkey is described as an Englishman about the same age as the narrator. He is productive in the morning but becomes drunk by noon. However, the narrator’s attempts to send him home have never been successful. Nippers, who is described as a young-looking man, is quite the opposite. His irritation is caused by his indigestion, which causes him to be less productive in the morning and more productive in the afternoon when the indigestion wears off. However, he is never reprimanded for his behavior either. These are examples of the narrator’s lack of authority within the office.
The narrator generally sees himself as a good person. He considers himself to do right by others, his employees and colleague alike. One can also see him as a religious and lawful person. He attends church each Sunday and tends to obey the law. Although he sees himself as a good person, and he is not a bad person, the way he lives his life is simply too naive. He does not take any risks and to an extent he allows his employees to do as they please. This naïve behavior becomes apparent with the introduction of the scrivener, Bartleby. Throughout the story Bartley “prefers not to” do any of his work. The narrator continues to play it safe and does not question or reprimand Bartleby’s actions. This is because he fears Bartleby will become vulnerable to the other employers. The narrator is concerned that if Bartleby is dismissed the other people who might hire him will be less forgiving of his eccentric qualities and habits. He believes that by helping Bartley he is doing him a favor and at the same time keeping his status as a good person. This again shows the concept of the narrator as a good person.
The narrator talks about walls in his office that seem to represent the hopelessness among his employees. He describes the view of the wall outside of his window as becoming less and less than he originally had. This shrinking aspect shows how his relationship with his employees has changed every since the arrival of Bartleby.
The narrator’s actions of “playing it safe” caused the employees to always be unproductive and lackadaisical, therefore, never getting anything accomplished around the office. The narrator “plays it safe” by not reprimanding or showing any authority to his employees. He especially adopts this course of action with Bartleby. He refuses to remove or fire Bartleby from the building for fear it may cause a scene and make the narrator look bad. Even after the narrator has moved out of the office, the new tenants approach the narrator regarding Bartleby and still he refuses to take any course of action. Eventually the new tenants legally have Bartleby removed and sent to the Tombs for posing as a vagrant. The narrator visits Bartleby and finds him in one of the yards facing a brick wall. The narrator makes several attempts to cheer him up but his efforts fall short. The narrator then bribes a guard to make sure Bartleby is well fed. After several days the narrator returns only to find Bartleby dead. He finds out that Bartleby had died because he had preferred not to eat.
In the end the narrator hears of a rumor that Bartleby had once worked as a clerk in the Dead Letter Office in Washington. The whole idea of Bartleby working in the Dead Letter Office horrifies the narrator which in turn causes the narrator to have an epiphany about the whole instance. The narrator realizes that although he was never going to be able to help Bartleby he could not help but feel some sort of compassion for Bartleby. He feels that if maybe he had known what Bartleby had done before he could have saved him from the humanity.
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Bartleby, the Failure It is not rare, sometimes it is even common, that an author speaks about his or her self in their works. Herman Melville's «Bartleby, the Scrivener» is often considered such a story. Many of the characters in the story and images created allude to Melville's writing career, which was generally deemed a failure. The main Bartleby, the Failure It is not rare, sometimes it is even common, that an author speaks about his or her self in their works. Herman Melville's «Bartleby, the Scrivener» is often considered such a story. Many of the characters in the story and images created allude to Melville's writing career, which was generally deemed a failure. The main Comparing Young Goodman Brown And Bartleby The Scrivener In the stories “Young Goodman Brown” and “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, I find myself more sympathetic to the character Bartleby. The stories’ protagonists withdraw themselves from society, but for different reasons. Goodman Brown loses his trust in people, while Bartleby loses hope.
“Bartleby, the Scrivener”, by Herman Melville, describes a man who is all alone in the Herman Melville Sample essay topic, essay writing: Herman Melville - 559 words
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