Bartleby The Scrivener Conflict Analysis

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In Herman Melville’s short story, “Bartleby the Scrivener”, he presents the internal conflict of the story’s narrator, a well off businessman who is dealing with an external conflict of finding another clerk who will simplify his work. Although the narrator remains unnamed, Melville heavily relies on his commentary and character development as he shifts the narrator’s persona from that of a man with a “seldom lost temper” (Paragraph 4), to a man who is on the brink of madness. Melville implements minor characters at the beginning of the story to ultimately serve as a basis for the plot, making it known that the narrator desperately needs a new clerk to make up for the faults of his current employees. Using comical juxtaposition, Melville describes these characters individual quirks that aid the reader’s prediction as to how Bartleby’s personality will fit into the dynamic.
The narrator introduces his first clerk, Turkey. Turkey is described as a short, stubby man, who after 12 P.M, has a complexion that is flushed
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The name used is yet another play on words from Melville, as the slang use of the word “nippy” means “cold or biting”. Nippers possesses this coldness in the work area as he experiences an “occasional nervous testiness and grinning irritability, causing teeth to audibly grind together over mistakes committed in copying; unnecessary maledictions, hissed, rather than spoken.” (Paragraph 11) Yet another comedic touch is added to the story as the narrator describes the internal work efficiency clock that Nippers possesses. Acting as a counterpart to his coworker, Turkey, Nippers works extremely efficient after the “12 o’clock P.M meridian”. Like the cold bitterness of the winter season, Nippers is extremely crude and encompasses an “irritable, brandy-like disposition”. (Paragraph 12) The narrator yet again looks past his faults as he remembers that Nippers “was, at least, a temperate young man.” (Paragraph

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