Bartlebey Essay

301 WordsMay 4, 20152 Pages
In “Bartleby the Scrivener”, the narrator describes himself as a safe man who rarely loses his temper. He’s an unambitious lawyer who carries traits that are opposite of a typical lawyer. Although he prefers to keep a business relationship between himself and his employees, he finds himself going the distance to help out Bartleby. Bartleby is a copyist hired by the narrator who gives a hard time by not doing his work and eventually not doing anything at all. His mysterious tendencies somehow attract the narrator and cause his many attempts in assisting Bartleby. The narrator continues to help Bartleby because he was surprised by his passive resistance, sympathetic towards his living conditions and loyal to his employees. Bartleby’s polite refusal to all requests and demands interests the narrator. He asks Bartleby to examine papers that he wrote with him and Bartleby replies with “I prefer not to”. The narrator finds his answer bizarre at first because of his demeanor. “His grey eyes dimly calm. Not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him” (Melville, 1071). stuckkkkk The narrator developed melancholy feelings towards Bartleby. Part of the reason he somewhat kept him around was because Bartleby was harmless. However, on a Sunday morning, the narrator stopped at his office, to find Bartleby living there. He found a blanket, cushions, soap, food crumbs, a brush, and a handkerchief with change. That must’ve been the first time the narrator experienced dearth conditions. “For the first time in my life, a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not-unpleasant sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom” (Melville, 1077). The way the narrator lives his “safe” life, situations such as the one he experienced probably seldom occurs, which affects in conscience.

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