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Bartleby Essay, Research Paper

Bartleby- The Scrivener In Herman Melville s Bartleby the Scrivener, the writer uses several subjects to convey his thoughts. The three most of import subjects are disaffection, adult male s desire to hold a free scruples, and adult male s desire to avoid struggle. Melville uses the actions of an bizarre copyist named Bartleby, and the responses of his cohorts, to demo these underlying subjects to the reader. The first subject, disaffection, is displayed best by Bartleby s actions. He has a splitter put up so that the other copyists can non see him, while all of them have desks out in the unfastened so they are full position of each other, every bit good as the storyteller. This caused discourse with all of the others in the office. This is proven when Turkey exclaims, I think I ll merely measure behind his screen and black his eyes for him. ( p.2411 ) The other copyists besides felt alienated by the actions of the storyteller. His deficiency of resoluteness when covering with Bartleby angered them because they knew that if they would hold taken the same actions, they would hold been dismissed much more quickly. The storyteller admits to this when he said, With any other adult male I should hold flown outright into a awful passion, scorned all farther words, and thrust him disgracefully from my presence. ( 2409 ) The following subject is adult male s desire to avoid struggle. The storyteller avoids struggle on several occasions. The first clip Bartleby refused to proofread a paper, the storyteller merely had person else do it alternatively of facing him and deciding the issue right so. By disregarding the job, he left the door unfastened for m

ore disobedience. As expected, Bartleby continued to refuse to proofread and the narrator eventually gave up on asking him to do it. The narrator went to great lengths to avoid a confrontation. When Bartleby refused to leave the office after being fired, the narrator chose to move his office to a different location instead of removing the eccentric man by force. The narrator informs the reader of this idea when he says, No more then. Since he will not quit me, I must quit him. I will change my offices. (2422) By doing so, the narrator displays just how far man is sometimes willing to go to avoid conflict. The final theme is man s desire to have a free conscience. Melville reveals this theme through the actions of the narrator as well as the new tenants of the office. The narrator attempts to appease his conscience by giving Bartleby money above his wages when he fired him. The new tenants of the office try to put the responsibility of dealing with Bartleby back on the narrator, but they are denied and eventually have the man removed from the premises by law officers. Herman Melville uses the actions and reactions of the characters in Bartleby the Scrivener to disclose three important themes, alienation, man s desire to avoid conflict, and man s desire to keep a free conscience. In doing so, he gives us an inside look into the workings of the human mind. The reader is left with the impression that all people, including lawyers, have compassion for other humans, and at some point, that compassion will show through Biblio- Heath Anthology of American Lit., Third Edition, Vol I , Paul Lauter Ed.

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