Foils In Bartleby The Scrivener

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In Herman Melville’s short story, “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, multiple foils can be observed. Foils being a contrast between two characters or even settings. However, this text will be centered on specifically two foils. The first one, the narrator being a foil of Bartleby, leading to the second foil; Nippers and/or Turkey being foils of Bartleby once again. As previously said, Bartleby the Scrivener and the narrator seem to be foils of each other. The protagonist, Bartleby, resists the crowd and the usual way of living. He lives against the norms: isolating himself from society and humanity. Barely eating, or a certain point refusing to eat, living in his own office consequently cutting contact with humans and not executing his boss’s, the narrator, orders. Therefore, completely defying…show more content…
The narrator is an extroverted man who's going about his life in the easiest way possible. He’s kind, social, has a good reputation but has some issues for standing up for himself. He’s overly sympathetic to his employees to the point that he cannot bring himself to replace them. Later on in the story, when Bartleby no longer work for him, the Narrator can’t help but still feel responsible for the ex-scrivener. His genuine sense of human compassion is what makes him a relatable character. In summary, Bartleby is an introverted and selfish man who focuses on himself, in contrast with the Narrator who is extroverted and thinks too much about others’ well being. Bartleby also does what he wants at any given moment when the Narrator does what is expected of him. The Narrator fully grasps life when Bartleby has given up on life itself. Going to the second foil between Turkey and/or Nippers and the main character. Turkey and Nippers are portrayed as highly emotionally unstable men. Having emotional breakdowns, noticing hints of a certain bipolarity, letting their emotional impulsivity control their
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