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Understanding the Narrator in "Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Herman Melville

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CSW COLLEGE

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book reviews
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  1. The narrator, a sympathetic figure
  2. The narrator, focused on Bartleby

In Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener", the narrator is confronted with a very difficult and unusual situation. A scrivener hired by the narrator, Bartleby, has stationed himself in the narrators' office and gradually becomes more and more difficult and increasingly stubborn. At first willing to perform his main function as a scrivener - copying documents - Bartleby eventually stops working and "prefers" to do nothing at all. Unwilling to respond to extensive requests by the narrator to perform basic office functions, to seek alternative employment, or communicate at all, Bartleby transforms into a fixture that obstinately stands in the office and does not move.

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