Bartleby The Scrivener Character Analysis

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The number 23 describes the famous basketball player Michael Jordan. When Steve Jobs is mentioned, people automatically think of Apple. Actress, Marilyn Monroe, is notorious for her birthmark. When Bartleby is referred to, one thinks of the symbols that describe his strange, mysterious character. In the story, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” a public records office is searching for a new employee. When only one gentleman shows up for the job, the boss gives the strange man, Bartleby, a job as a filer. After a few days, the new employee will not listen to the boss. He simply states, “I prefer not to”(310), whenever he is asked to complete a task. Consequently, the boss gets tired of Bartleby’s behavior and tries to get rid of him, but, no matter what…show more content…
The character, Bartleby, continuously says the expression, “I prefer not to”(310), within the story. The abnormal man begins the story by doing all the tasks he is given from the boss. After a few days at the office filing records, Bartleby tells the boss that he prefers not to do any of the jobs he is asked to do. “Of course, from behind the screen the unusual answer, ‘I prefer not to’ was sure to come; and then, how could a human creature with common infirmities of perverseness- such unreasonableness” (310). The narrator describes how the job Bartleby had previously, a dead letter employee, has made him currently unreasonable and depressed. Bartleby realizes that the work he is doing is irrelevant, similar to the time he put into creating the written messages that turned to dead letters. After realizing this, he prefers not to perform any task he is asked to accomplish. For this purpose, Bartleby surmises that he has nothing but work and discovers that life is meaningless. Work has no meaning in Bartleby’s life, subsequently, he prefers to not execute any task when he is asked. Bartleby would prefer to focus on his own strange thoughts and be isolated in his own world, rather than do the work he is asked to do. As a result of Bartleby preferring not to do anything, he also prefers not to

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