Conformity In Melville's 'Bartleby'

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The story has come to a point where Bartleby has refused to work and the narrator lets this slide by. This refusal to work would result in dismissal of one’s job, but the narrator continued Bartleby’s employment. However, this charitable act may just be a feint so the narrator’s “can cheaply purchase a delicious self-approval; to befriend Bartleby…will eventually prove a sweet morsel for my conscience”. (Melville 56). Rather than for the good purpose, the narrator is conforming to what he thinks society would like him to do in this kind of situation. The narrator’s false pretense to society will slowly diminish as each time Bartleby chose to be who he is instead of conforming. Bartleby has come to the point of living in the office and would
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