4 March 2015
Bartleby the Unknown
Bartleby, the scrivener, perhaps one of the most interesting characters to be read about. This short story takes place on Wall Street in New York City and it takes place in the year of 1853. Bartleby is hired to be a copyist for a lawyers firm, in fact the lawyer is the narrator of this short story. Bartleby is the newest employee to the lawyers firm, his fellow scriveners are referred to as Nippers and Turkey. Bartleby starts of as an excellent employee to the firm and all seems well for the newest scrivener. As the story goes on Bartleby’s work takes a complete three-hundred sixty degree turn and from there that’s essentially the story of Bartleby.
The debate is whether Bartleby has good or bad traits, as you read the story you can easily go out and say Bartleby is an awful individual with no work ethic and is very disrespectful. All I think can easily be misunderstood as true, but through all this I think Bartleby is utilizing a skill of his. All throughout the story Bartleby gets his own way and does as he pleases. He doesn’t talk to anybody, he stays isolated in his own corner, he sleeps in the office and he goes to work and is disobedient. Those common occurrences of Bartleby would seem like enough to get the boot from any job, at least you would think. The lawyer had a small task for Bartleby, all he wanted Bartleby to do was examine a small paper for him. When asked to perform this task Bartleby says, “I would prefer not to” (107). The narrator was in a complete sense of shock when he heard that response, he was under the impression Bartleby misunderstood him. He asked the same question to Bartleby anticipating a different response, but his anticipation was wrong when he heard, “Prefer not to” (108) echo back to him across the office.
Throughout the story Bartleby exemplifies some key strengths that he utilizes. These strengths of Bartleby’s are truly the...
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