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Bartleby Summary

In: English and Literature

Submitted By yprianne
Words 702
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Here are my answers to the questions of Bartleby the Scrivener by Melville 1. The Boss who is also the narrator is up against Bartleby unwillingness to do what he is paid for. At first he does all his copying but when he is asked to check his work with the original copy, Bartleby simply refuse. The Boss feels frustrated by Bartleby’s answer but yet keep him longer to see if he’ll change, which he doesn’t and the Boss is force to move his business because Bartleby refuse to leave the place. In the story, Bartleby represents freedom as he chooses not to do anything. We can observe a couple of society statement, the narrator represent “normality” in which normal people seek social status and fortune, but on the other hand, Bartleby is the opposite as he does not seek any social status or interaction at all, he has lost his humanity and chooses to let go of everything.
However, I read other Melville stories and I know that Melville often represent himself in his own stories. Here, Melville is represented by Bartleby.
The narrator sees himself as normal making every other character in the story different from normal. Nippers has a “disease” for being ambitious and Turkey is annoying because he is “too energetic” but put together they are useful. Both represent different type of peoples we can easily find in our everyday world. They aren’t likable or sympathetic characters but because of their extreme behavior, they only make the scene less dark than it would be without them. 2. The functions of the minor characters are to represent the typical employees that we can find in a regular office. They often show submission to the boss to avoid being fired. 3. At first, the Boss is shocked by Bartleby continuous refusal to work. Then he became frustrated and worried. Finally, the boss is tired of Bartleby but doesn’t want to hurt his feeling so he moves his office out, leaving Bartleby to himself.
As much as I would have sympathy for Bartleby as his boss did. I don’t think I would have had the patient to go on as long as the boss did. Bartleby is not asking for pity or for other to care, he just want to let go of everything, he chooses to let go. He has no interest in our materialistic world. I just think we cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be help. I think Bartleby is seeing as a depress person, however he doesn’t give any sign that he wants to get help, so I would have taken the measurement necessary to have him removed. 4. Since his last job at the Post Office, Bartleby can not find a purpose in life. He felt depress by the lost letters and can not go on any longer. He sees no point in living resulting in a total step back in his social life at first and his life in general at the end. He doesn’t see the point on living, so he doesn’t see why he should do what his boss asking to do. He “would prefers not to” do anything than trying and fail. 5. One irony I found was in the fact that the window where Bartleby was sitting next too had no view, which was just as ironic as his own mind. He couldn’t escape from his mind as well as his office. 6. 7. The image of the workplace given by Melville is pretty dark and plain. It doesn’t make me want to work in that kind of environment but as shown above, the characters used for the story represents the everyday people we see at work. Melville describes the narrator as a successful man who works with rich businessmen. We also learn that Bartleby lost his previous job because of modernization, which can be a cause why people cannot find new jobs. We need to keep ourselves up to date to be able to be competitive player in the workplace. In our story there is not competition between the employees as they complete each other’s.

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