Bartleby Character Analysis Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  880 Words
Date:  2022-04-14

Bartleby arrives at the Narrator's law practice with the aim of seeking employment. He immediately gets the job and is chosen to serve as a scrivener or a law copyist by a lawyer. He starts his profession in on the right foot and nothing unusual is noticed as he is seen as a quiet person. The Narrator's Lawyer sees him as more helpful compared to other workers including Turkey and Nippers. The two other workers also feel relieved by the arrival of Bartleby and business resumes as expected. The character of Bartleby as seen in the story helps shape the plot of the story. In this essay, character analysis of Bartleby is done to help understand his role in the story.

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Bartleby is seen in the story as an antagonist. This character is first expressed in the story by the boldness displayed by Bartleby, for instance, when all copies of books are required to be examined Bartleby heads towards the lawyer saying he would prefer not to examine the copies. Bartleby is requested to work on his documents and go through it looking for errors, and again he prefers not to. He drives his lawyers crazy when he refuses and the lawyer is so worried such that he does not question Bartleby about his answer. Later, he is asked to examine a large document and he gives the same answer. Anything he is asked he refuses to do. In the story, Bartleby keeps saying, "I prefer not to" (Couch 167). Even when the simplest jobs are presented to him he simply says he prefers not to. The replies from Bartleby surprise the Lawyer so much that he cannot respond. This manifest his antagonistic character that shapes the entire story.

Eventually, he stops getting to work at all. The Narrator gets a reason to fire him. Again Bartleby shows a character of antagonist by not moving away from the workplace and decides to hang around the working place and live there (Couch 178). The Narrator notices this and decides to move all his office equipment's and working materials away from Bartleby. Bartley is not amazed by this and he continues to live in the narrator's old office. A few days after the Narrator moved a group of small people visits him. The group informs him that Bartley is still seen hanging around inside the old building. The lawyer decides it is time to come up with a solution to remove Bartley from the area. To resolve this problem, the Narrator comes up with a way to stop him and that is to take him to prison.

This looks like the end of the story but it is not. The "resolution" is not a true resolution. When things are expected to have been cleared, the main problem of Bartley is seen to have simply been pushed aside and concentrated on another leaving the issue unsolved. Bartley shows the issue concerning the life of Melville. It is at this point, where it is discovered that the Scrivener is a kind of writer and Bartley is appointed as a representative of Melville. This leads to discouragement by the fall of well know reputation. The narrator decides to communicate to Bartleby, "I am not going to ask you to do anything that you would prefer not to I simply wish to speak to you" (Melville 15).

Bartleby's secret removal from his work is seen as a way of Melville's isolation from the public. The phrase "I would prefer not to" is used to represent the version of the declaration by Melville. It was at this point that Bartleby's wish to write a book that would generate money was shuttered as it was banned. In another way, "Bartleby The Scrivener" is a story that shows a representation of modern society in matters of tribulations. Bartleby passes through challenges and a time he finds himself trapped in people's minds who are monotonous and mindless; this leads to the showing of the character Bartley as the antagonist. He tries to make the readers realize their own immoral behaviors towards each other and maybe wishing them stability in life before they resigned themselves to monotony or even lack of interest in the world of the large town. In the book "Bartleby The Scrivener" Liane Norman says "I know your freedom and prosperity and I want nothing to do with it" (72). The Narrator is worried whether part of this depressing job may be the cause of state of sanity in Bartleby's life (Kelly 74).

Character analysis of Bartleby can be summarized as a mystifying person. After the character is imprisoned and dies alone, many things can be learned about his past as a worker at the Dead Letter Office. The dead Letter Office is a part of the Post Office, which gets the undelivered mails. In relation to this, the character analysis is more of humanistic as Bartley is described as a story of a relationship concerning two men who are inhuman and lack charity.

Works Cited

Melville, Herman. Bartleby, the Scrivenera Story of Wall-street. SMK Books, 2013.

Kelly, Lori Duin. "Office Setting as Organizational Structure in "Bartleby the Scrivener." SAGE Open 7.1 (2017): 2158244017690430.

Couch, Daniel Diez. "A Syntax of Silence: The Punctuated Spaces in" Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street." Studies in American Fiction 42.2 (2015): 167-190.

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