Bartleby, the Scrivener

Topics: Bartleby, the Scrivener, Death, Dead letter office Pages: 2 (683 words) Published: December 3, 2006
Bartleby, the Scrivener is one of the first stories of corporate discontent. Bartleby is a man that not only deals with his discontent but his isolation as well. Herman Melville has transformed the character of Bartleby as a man that is obviously a freak that appears to be a very lonely man and is unable to find work that is satisfying to him. As we read further into the story we find that Bartleby is not able to find anything that is satisfying to him and it is the reader that begins to feel his discontent and his hopelessness. The story opens with Bartleby's employer, who is also the narrator of the story, who promises to tell of the peculiar man, Bartleby, a scrivener that works for the narrator of the story. He fulfills this promise after he describes the employers in the Wall Street office in which they work. There are two copyists and an office-boy that are employed by the narrator. Turkey is described as a valuable employee before twelve, noon. Anytime after noon he "made uncomfortable by his inflamed ways after twelve o'clock." (Melville 1088) Then there is Nippers. Nippers is just the opposite of Turkey. He is a young man of about five and twenty. He is a better employee after twelve noon. Lastly, Ginger Nut, is the young office-boy. He got this nickname because he often fetched Turkey and Nippers ginger nut cakes. Then there is Bartleby. When Bartleby was first hired his work performance was excellent. He had very high productivity. "He ran a day and night line, copying by sunlight and by candlelight." (Melville 1091) He started as a very ambitious employee but hardly spoke any words at all. As some time passes Bartleby is asked to double check a copy's faithfulness to its original and his response is "I prefer not to." (Melville 1092). Bartleby is later described that of a ghost or a dead person. He has no expression or evidence of human passion. Here we begin to feel his discontent and his isolation. He is a...
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