"Bartleby: A Story of Wall Street" is a story of the ‘wall’ within the heart of an individual which one is unable to pull down and that drives him to the ‘street’ being denied economic, social security and psychological support by the society. His problem is mainly psychological. He finds it difficult to get him assimilated in the present level of the society; he is too sincere and therefore unfit to be here…
In this story, Wall Street provides the backgrounder information and stands as a huge, mute witness to the social scene impacted by the economic drama that goes on within. The actual story is related to two individuals, a Wall Street lawyer and the Copyist he hires. The story revolves round two economic systems, capitalism and communism. Concealed beneath the apparently meaningless if not mad behavior of Bartleby is a socio-spiritual message of utmost significance to the humankind. In the clash between these two ‘isms’ the important aspect of humanism should not be lost sight of and it must be preserved at all times and at all costs. In this story communism is beaten, the copyist ultimately dies of starvation, just as it happens with Russia when Communism first take over in the post-revolution era and when it finally collapses in the regime of Michael Gorbachev. Wall Street is the barometer of the economy: Wall Street has been the barometer of economy invariably, and it is so in the mid-1800s. In that period, in the absence of mechanization of photocopying, “Copyists” occupy a pivotal position to copy the information. They are also designated as scriveners or law clerks. This story relates to a Wall Street lawyer, who is not named in the story. He is doing brisk business and with the increase in the workload in the office, he appoints a new incumbent as “Copyist” in addition to the existing three, who are all of different temperaments. This new recruit, Bartleby does exceptionally well in the beginning, he is a cool and dignified person. One day, the lawyer asks Bartleby to review some copied documents aloud to verify their correctness. Bartleby instantly replies “I would prefer not to.” This shocks the lawyer as this is an act of insubordination. But again credits to Bartleby, he has been very polite even in his denial and the lawyer ignores his curt reply, nevertheless he has a question mark in his mind about the disposition of Bartleby. Lawyer’s first reaction to the refusal indicates what sort of a personality Bartleby is. Melville writes “I looked at him steadfastly. His face was leanly composed; his gray eye dimly calm. Not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him. Had there been the least uneasiness, anger, impatience or impertinence in his manner; in other words, had there been any thing ordinarily human about him, doubtless I should have violently dismissed him from the premises” (Para 25) He becomes curious. When he comes to know that Bartleby lives in his office, he is amazed. Melville writes, “Of a Sunday, Wall-street is deserted as Petra; and every night of every day it is emptiness. This building too, which of week-days hums with industry and life, at nightfall echoes with sheer vacancy, and all through Sunday is forlorn. And here Bartleby makes his home; sole spectator of solitude which he has seen all populous—a sort of innocent and transformed Marius brooding among the ruins of Carthage!”(Para, 88) He thinks that it is time for him to verify his character and antecedents. He questions Bartleby about his past, and this ...
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Bartleby the Scrivener is a short story inscribed by Herman Melville. In this short story, an elderly lawyer hires Bartleby to work in his business, which deals with“bonds, mortgages and title deed”. The elder lawyer employs Bartleby to proofread the office work, but Bartleby ends up refusing to conduct the assigned responsibilities.
Bartleby, a scrivener, is one such individual. Even to say that he is resigned to his fate is an incorrect statement, as he does not visualize what his fate is! His problems are undefined, difficult to understand for a lay observer, and for his employer, a successful lawyer on Wall Street, he proves problematic.
It is set in late nineteenth century Manhattan and is one of Melville’s best-known works. Bartleby takes on the job of a scrivener, progressively isolates himself from social interaction, stops work and denies discourse with the everyday world. The story is narrated by an unnamed lawyer, with an office on Wall Street, who hires Bartleby in the last period of the scrivener’s life.
Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Bartleby the Scrivener' by Melville Introduction Bartleby, the Scrivener" is a story about the physical and mental degeneration of a man, an alienation of an individual from his own humanity (Bergmann, 2). From this description, it is very clear that everybody gives special attention to time because it is non-refundable.
Bartleby, however, starts out in the narrator's office doing "an extraordinary quantity of writing" (par.18), but soon discovers that he 'prefers' not to work at all. The narrator has quite a lot to say about both himself and Bartleby, and his experience with the scrivener seems to have been really educative.
rence at Owl Creek Bridge” explores the life of Peyton Fahrquhar, who has been lured by a Federal Scout to plan interfering with the railroads, which has the punishment of hanging. Though Bartleby and Peyton have different lives, since Peyton is richer and with a family, while
I am one of those ambitious lawyers without ambitions who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquillity of a snug retreat, do a snug business among rich men’s bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. All who know
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