Bartleby The Scrivener Consequences

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Choosing Your Consequences

In life we are lead through many decisions, we’re constantly making them, regretting them, and just expressing our free will. When we read stories about personal experiences we should always stop to wonder how the decisions the character makes affects them. Bartleby, Wakefield and Thoreau all seems to make the decision to use their free will but soon realize that when we express free will, there will always be consequences. In the short story “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville , the main character Bartleby “prefers not to” work at a dead end job and ends up dying out of starvation. In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's “Wakefield” the main character chooses to temporarily leave his marriage for twenty years and ends
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In the story we are introduced to an odd character by the name of Bartleby, a scrivener who at “At first Bartleby did an extraordinary quantity of writing” ( Melville 11) and proceeded to write “silently, palely, mechanically.” (Melville 11). But this soon turned around when Bartleby decided to turn in the opposite direction, when he was given orders “Bartleby in a singularly mild, firm voice, replied “I would prefer not to” ( Melville 11). He seems to be committed to the idea of “preferring” not to do something, and he would respond this every time and seems to have given up on his job. This ultimately makes the lawyer say “you are decided then, not to comply with my request-a request made according to common usage and common sense?” ( Melville 13) Bartleby uses his free will to an extreme, though he never explains the reason for his stance, we can assume it is because he was sick of the work he was doing and found it to be pointless. Soon enough we find out that Bartleby found life to be pointless and then came the consequences of the decision he…show more content…
Prefer not to do your job? Move to the woods and experience life in its elements? Leave your marriage for 20 years? Whatever it may be, we still face the consequences, whether it be death, disconnecting from society or that come with every decision we make. All these characters choose these consequences and evaluated the risks, and some turned out to be for the better or for the worse. Through Bartleby we learn how free will can be taken to an extreme, from Wakefield we learn about family commitment and freedom, and from Thoreau we learn to live life free and
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