Bartleby The Scrivner And Benito Cerino

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The Lawyer vs. Captain Delano In “Bartleby the Scrivener” and “Benito Cereno,” both narrators are adversely affected by their obtuseness and preconceived notions about social order. The lawyer narrates and owns the law firm where “Bartleby the Scrivener” is employed. Captain Delano, narrator of “Benito Cereno” who tries to assist Captain Cereno and his battered ship and men. Both narrators are blind to the clues that hint that they are in danger or a serious event will soon occur, making them appear naive and perhaps, stupid. Captain Delano’s ignorance and social conditioning have made him resistant to accepting a revolt has unfolded on the San Dominick. Delano is significantly more affected by his preconceived notions about social order and his ignorance than the lawyer in “Bartleby the Scrivener”. Much like the lawyer, whose series of events with Bartleby have been characterized as issues with charity, Delano falls under the same “mind trap” that he must help the tattered sailors. However, the lawyer does not seem as ignorant as Delano. The lawyer’s problem stems from the fact that he doesn’t know how to deal with and eventually get rid of Bartleby. The issue is not ignorance but confrontation between the lawyer and Bartleby. Delano on the other hand, succumbed to his well-natured obliviousness and overlooks clues of a mutiny right under his nose. However, because of his social conditioning leading him to believe that these events could not possibly occur, even though they crossed his mind, he nearly leads himself and his entire crew to their demise. Captain Delano can be shortly described as “a person of a singularly undistrustful good nature” (2695). So upon seeing the San Dominick, Delano doesn’t consider any adverse reason why the ship would be in such a dilapidated condition. Delano describes the sails being torn, the deck in shambles, and a tarp or
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