A Story of Wall-Street"
Plot[ edit ] The narrator is an elderly, unnamed Manhattan lawyer with a comfortable business in legal documents. He already employs two scrivenersNippers and Turkey, to copy legal documents by hand, but an increase in business leads him to advertise for a third.
He hires the forlorn-looking Bartleby in the hope that his calmness will soothe the irascible temperaments of the other two. An office boy nicknamed Ginger Nut completes the staff.
At first, Bartleby produces a large volume of high-quality work, but one day, when asked to help proofread a document, Bartleby answers with what soon becomes his perpetual response to every request: The narrator makes several futile attempts to reason with Bartleby and to learn something about him; when the narrator stops by the office one Sunday morning, he discovers that Bartleby has started living there.
Tension builds as business associates wonder why Bartleby is always there. Sensing the threat to his reputation but emotionally unable to evict Bartleby, the narrator moves his business out.
Soon the new tenants come to ask for help in removing Bartleby, who now sits on the stairs all day and sleeps in the building's doorway at night. The narrator visits Bartleby and attempts to reason with him; to his own surprise, he invites Bartleby to live with him, but Bartleby declines the offer.
Later the narrator returns to find that Bartleby has been forcibly removed and imprisoned in the Tombs. Finding Bartleby glummer than usual during a visit, the narrator bribes a turnkey to make sure he gets enough food.
When the narrator returns a few days later to check on Bartleby, he discovers that he died of starvation, having preferred not to eat. Sometime afterwards, the narrator hears a rumor that Bartleby had worked in a dead-letter office and reflects that dead letters would have made anyone of Bartleby's temperament sink into an even darker gloom.
The story closes with the narrator's resigned and pained sigh, "Ah Bartleby! The book was published anonymously later that year but in fact was written by popular novelist James A. Melville biographer Hershel Parker points out that nothing else in the chapter besides this "remarkably evocative sentence" was "notable".
This source contains one scene and many characters — including an idle scrivener — that appear to have influenced Melville's narrative. During the spring ofMelville felt similarly about his work on Moby Dick. Thus, Bartleby may represent Melville's frustration with his own situation as a writer, and the story itself is "about a writer who forsakes conventional modes because of an irresistible preoccupation with the most baffling philosophical questions".
Colt case in this short story. 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 [ Based on the perception of the narrator and the limited details supplied in the story, his character remains elusive even as the story comes to a close.
As an example of clinical depression[ edit ] Bartleby shows classic symptoms of depression, especially his lack of motivation. He is a passive person, although he is the only reliable worker in the office other than the narrator and Ginger Nut. Bartleby is a good worker until he starts to refuse to do his work.
Bartleby does not divulge any personal information to the narrator.
Bartleby's death suggests the effects of depression—having no motivation to survive, he refrains from eating until he dies. This lack of history suggests that Bartleby may have just sprung from the narrator's mind.
Also consider the narrator's behavior around Bartleby: As the story proceeds, it becomes increasingly clear that the lawyer identifies with his clerk. To be sure, it is an ambivalent identification, but that only makes it all the more powerful".In "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street," Melville chooses his order of character introduction, introducing the narrator's qualities, then the clerks' descriptions, and finally Bartleby.
Bartleby the Scrivener explores the theme of isolation in American life and the workplace through actual physical and mental loneliness.
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 .
Transcendentalist View of Bartleby the Scrivener Actions The Transcendentalists and the Dark Romantics were the two major literary groups of America's literary coming of age. The transcendentalists believed in transcending everyday, physical human experiences and objects, in order to determine the reality of God, the universe, and the self.
Transcendentalist View Of Bartleby The Scrivener’s Actions. Transcendentalist View of Bartleby the Scrivener Actions The Transcendentalists and the Dark Romantics were the two major literary groups of America’s literary coming of age.
In "Bartleby, the Scrivener", the narrator works all the time and is lonely and unhappy. The only other activity he does, besides working on Wall Street, is going to church on Sundays. Bartleby works in front of the only window in the office, however, all he sees is a view of a brick wall.
Transcendentalism is a very optimistic philosophy, believing in the power of the individual. Bartleby, even though he does rebel at the end, has basically given up the fight against a system that has dehumanized him.