Who Is Bartleby The Scrivener

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In his short story, “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” Herman Melville illustrates a man’s revelation of his hidden true nature. The story revolves around an unnamed narrator who describes himself as an experience and professional lawyer. He also claims that he “from his youth upwards, has been filled a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best.” The narrator works peacefully with his two other employees, Turkey and Nippers, until increased business urges him to hire a new scrivener, Bartleby. Although seemingly an asset after employment, the young man soon becomes an impediment after he begins refusing to work. However, the narrator grants him leniency and tolerates the defiance until he discovers that Bartleby had been living inside the office. Eventually, the police arrest him for vagrancy and send him to prison where he unfortunately dies, shocking the narrator.…show more content…
He sees charity as a means of promoting self-interest, causing him to keep Bartleby around in hopes that the act of kindness “will eventually prove a sweet morsel” for his conscience. However, when Bartleby fails to give the expected “instant compliance,” the lawyer “[turns] into a pillar of salt,” alluding to the Bible in which Lot’s wife was turned into salt for her disobedience. Bartleby’s refusal to work creates a dilemma for the narrator, causing him to fruitlessly attempt to throw more money at Bartleby, hoping he will go away. He begins to believe in a selfish philosophy that allows him to run away from his problems and moves Bartleby away from the office, believing that not physically seeing the young man will relieve him from the burden of the scrivener 's problems. However, Bartleby refuses all material items (money and food) as he “prefers not to” engage and partake in the greedy excess which others

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