Search icone
Search and publish your papers

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

Or download with : a doc exchange

About the author

author
Level
General public
Study
educational...
School/University
CSW COLLEGE

About the document

Published date
Language
documents in English
Format
Word
Type
book reviews
Pages
3 pages
Level
General public
Accessed
0 times
Validated by
Committee Oboolo.com
0 Comment
Rate this document
  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.

[...] Additionally, the narrator decides that he will give Bartleby a chance to take money and move on. Instead of call the police, forcing him out physically, or devising some sort of ruthless plan, the narrator decides that he will just leave money on the table, ask Bartleby to kindly leave the office, and then spends a great deal of time ruminating on whether or not his plan will work: After breakfast, I walked downtown, arguing the probabilities pro and con. [...]


[...] Once again, the narrator has no obligation, as an employer who hired Bartleby for a specific purpose, to even do this much. The narrator would be fully justified in just getting rid of Bartleby without actually giving him anything at all, but he feels sympathetic enough and can still find it in his heart to at least try and help the poor man. Although his efforts are unsuccessful?Bartleby does not move but continues to stand around the office?the effort on the part of the narrator is something many others would not consider taking. [...]


[...] The narrator, a man who tried to help Bartleby extensively, could only go so far. Despite the fact that he had no obligation to help Bartleby, the narrator continued to be of assistance and through his efforts, demonstrated that he did care about Bartleby and about his plight. Works Cited Melville, Herman. Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street. 1853. [...]

Similar documents you may be interested in reading.

Oppression and limited discourse in Melville and Alcott

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  Presentation   |  07/15/2011   |   .doc   |   4 pages

Top sold for literature

Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  Book review   |  07/08/2013   |   .pdf   |   2 pages

Comedy in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: 'Moral' Pilgrims and the Stories They Tell

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  Presentation   |  05/22/2008   |   .doc   |   6 pages