Bartleby the Scrivener

Topics: Bartleby, the Scrivener, Scrivener, Employment Pages: 3 (953 words) Published: December 20, 2008
I would like to start by making a character analysis. First, both characters Bartleby and Willy Loman have serious social and psychological issues that are evident. The employers of both these men attempt to assist them. Neither one is able to continue in their daily work tasks for one reason or another. Both have opportunities but choose not take them. Although Willy Loman is a deeply flawed character, there is something compelling about his nostalgia. Modernity accounts for the obsolescence of Willy Loman's career --traveling salesman are rapidly becoming out-of-date. Significantly, Willy reaches for modern objects, the car and the gas heater, to assist him in his suicide attempts. Society also plays a part in Will Loman’s down fall. Society stripped him of his dignity, piece by piece. Society stripped him of his lifestyle, and his own sons who stripped him of hope. The most obvious flaw in society is greed, the desire to get ahead of the next person. It is the philosophy of business and comprises the dreams of man. Sometimes, this can drive man to great things, sometimes it can drive a man to ruin. Willy was driven to ruin. He was unable to cope with the reality of life the encroaching apartment buildings, the new way of doing business were too much for him. A similar situation occurs in "Bartleby the Scrivener" which is one of the first great stories of corporate discontent. The description of the office is incredibly bleak, and the landscape of Wall Street is completely unnatural. The work environment is sterile and cheerless. Yet most adapt to it, with varying degrees of success. Though the narrator is a successful man, he is a victim, in some ways, of progress. He has lost the post he occupied during the central events of the story. His position was considered redundant and eliminated. We learn later that Bartleby may have lost a job due to similar bureaucratic change. The modern economy includes constant and unfeeling change,...
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