Plot[ edit ] The narrator, an elderly, unnamed Manhattan lawyer with a comfortable business, already employs two scrivenersNippers and Turkey, to copy legal documents by hand. An increase in business leads him to advertise for a third, and he hires the forlorn-looking Bartleby in the hope that his calmness will soothe the irascible temperaments of the other two. An office boy called 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 turning point of his career came in Instead, he cultivated a more spiritual language to express the darker, enigmatic side of the soul. Like his letters, Melville's style became tortuous and demanding; his themes questioned the nature of good and evil and what he perceived as upheaval in universal order.
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.
The gems hidden among lengthy, digressive passages required more concentrative effort than readers were capable of or willing to put forth. Challenged to delve into the perplexities of morality, Melville avoided the more obvious superficialities and plunged determinedly into greater mysteries.
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.
Suggesting the author's own obstinacy, the main character replies to all comers, "I would prefer not to," thereby declaring his independence from outside intervention. Characterized as a symbolic fable of self-isolation and passive resistance to routine, "Bartleby, the Scrivener" reveals the decremental extinction of a human spirit.
Throughout Bartleby's emotional illness, it is sheer will that supplants the necessary parts of his personality that atrophy during his tenure at the Wall Street office. The humanistic theme, which ties one of life's winners inextricably to the pathetic demise of a loser, relegates the two central characters to a single fraternity, their shared belonging in the family of humankind.
The subtle insights which give the unnamed narrator no peace also grip the reader in a perplexing examination of the nature and purpose of charity."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 Herman Melville (August 1, – September 28, ) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period.
His best known works include Typee (), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick ().
Bartleby the Scrivener study guide contains a biography of Herman Melville, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a . "Bartleby the Scrivener" Summary.
The narrator of "Bartleby the Scrivener" is the Lawyer, who runs a law practice on Wall Street in New York. Herman Melville. August 19, September 28, He would develop these themes and characters fully at the end of his life Meanwhile, Melville sought to cope with failure in another way.
He tried his hand at short fiction. His "Bartleby, the Scrivener" appeared serially in the November and December issues of Putnam's.
A summary of "Bartleby the Scrivener" in Herman Melville's Melville Stories. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Melville Stories and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.