An analysis of the character bartleby in the novel a story of wall street by herman melville

In a way, this is continuing to play his same role as an employer, for he was furnishing his clerks their dinners in his office jail. These images describe the commercial society that stems from Wall Street, where the bottom line is money, and the relationship of person to person does not come into the picture at all.

Although all of the characters at the office are related by being co-workers, Bartleby is the only one whose name is known to us and seems serious, as the rest of characters have odd nicknames, such as "Nippers" or "Turkey", this excludes him from being normal in the workplace.

He does not ask for any change; he asks for nothing and will not be bought off. This puts Bartleby in the ranks of the noble rebels, who come to point out the faults of society.

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Critical Essays

For the sake of economy and speed, his output dwindled from the full-length novel to the short story, a stylistic constriction with which he never developed ease. How far does moral responsibility go.

The narrator restrains his anger toward Bartleby, his unrelentingly difficult employee, by reflecting upon "the tragedy of the unfortunate Adams and the still more unfortunate Colt and how poor Colt, being dreadfully incensed by Adams [ Although the narrator sees Bartleby as a harmless person, the narrator refuses to engage in the same peculiar rhythm that Bartleby is stuck in.

The last employee—not a scrivener, but an errand-boy—is Ginger Nut. A turning point comes when Bartleby refuses to let the lawyer into the office on Sunday morning, asking him to come back later.

The Lawyer tries to help both himself and Turkey by asking Turkey only to work in the mornings, but Turkey argues with him, so the Lawyer simply gives him less important documents in the afternoon.

He feels better when he sees that he can pity the man, and yet he can never gain ascendancy over him. He also becomes more flushed, with an ill temper, in the afternoon.

During the spring ofMelville felt similarly about his work on Moby Dick. Other commentators, focusing on the bleak mood and tragic conclusion of the story, consider the story a condemnation of capitalist society or a disheartening existentialist commentary. The lawyer is nervous because the clerk is unyielding, giving out the assurance that he acts from a sense of innate justice.

An office boy called Ginger Nut completes the staff. The narrator hires a man named Bartleby as a scrivener, a clerk who copies legal documents. His readers, accustomed to the satisfying rough and tumble of his sea yarns, were unable to make the leap from straightforward adventure tale to probing fiction.

There are also many works written after related to Bartleby. Themes[ edit ] Bartleby the Scrivener explores the theme of isolation in American life and the workplace through actual physical and mental loneliness.

Challenged to delve into the perplexities of morality, Melville avoided the more obvious superficialities and plunged determinedly into greater mysteries. To be sure, it is an ambivalent identification, but that only makes it all the more powerful". Bartleby in a larger sense then becomes a symbol of rebellion against the life dictated by Wall Street, a mechanical life where people are counters in a system.

Bartleby’s rebellion, through his quiet passive resistance, says NO! to the narrator’s values, which are the values of capitalism.

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Bartleby and his growing refusals and eccentricities—the theme of the rest of the story. Bartleby, we learn, is always in the office, either incessantly working or staring out the window at a facing wall. "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" is a short story by the American writer Herman Melville, first serialized anonymously in two parts in the November and December issues of Putnam's Magazine, and reprinted with minor textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in Author: Herman Melville.

Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story Of Wall-street Herman Melville from The Piazza Tales I AM a rather elderly man. The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years standing of the chief character about to be presented.

Imprimis: I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with Bartleby, The Scrivener 2 as a. Character Analysis in Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street Bartleby: The lawyer hires Bartleby to be a scrivener, a scribe who copies court and legal documents, for his law firm.

While initially a prolific worker, Bartleby slowly begins to resist direct instruction, repeating the phrase “I prefer not to” when asked to do something.

Barlteby the Scrivner: Summary

The story takes place on Wall Street, which was in Melville’s day, as it is today, the financial heart of America in Manhattan, including the New York Stock Exchange as the center of trading. The high buildings, shoulder to shoulder, do not allow for any natural view or much light.

An analysis of the character bartleby in the novel a story of wall street by herman melville
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Barlteby the Scrivner: Summary | Novelguide