This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Defense Mechanism Of Bartebly’s Personality In Short Story Bartleby The Scrivener By Herman Melville

3251 words - 13 pages

DEFENSE MECHANISM OF BARTEBLY'S PERSONALITY IN SHORT STORY BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER BY HERMAN MELVILLEA literary work can be reviewed by using different approaches, such as the sociological approach to literature that focuses on human problems, the structural approach that focuses on autonomy as a work of literary fiction, and others. I use the short story "Bartleby The Scrivener" by Herman Melville as study materials."Bartleby The Scrivener" is a short story which is narrated by an elderly lawyer who does a comfortable business helping wealthy men deal with mortgages, title deeds, and bonds, relates the story of the strangest man he has ever known. Bartleby is a new addition to the narrator's staff. The narrator already employs two scriveners, Nippers and Turkey. Nippers suffers from indigestion, and Turkey is a drunk, but the office survives because in the mornings Turkey is sober even though Nippers is irritable, and in the afternoon Nippers has calmed down even though Turkey is drunk. Ginger Nut, the office boy, gets his name from the little cakes he brings the men. Bartleby comes in answer to ad, and the narrator hires the forlorn looking young man in hopes that his calmness will soothe the temperaments of the other scriveners.One day, when Bartleby is asked to help proofread one of the documents he copied, he answers simply, "I would prefer not to." It is the first of many refusals. To the dismay of the narrator and the irritation of the other employees, Bartleby takes part in fewer and fewer duties around the office. The narrator attempts to reason with Bartleby and learn about him, but Bartleby always responds the same way when asked to do a task or give out information about him: "I would prefer not to." One weekend, when the narrator stops in at the office, he discovers that Bartleby is living at the office. The loneliness of Bartleby's life strikes the narrator: at night and on Sundays, Wall Street is as desolate as a ghost town. He alternates between pity and revulsion for Bartleby's bizarre behavior.Bartleby continues to refuse duties, until finally he is doing no work at all. And yet the narrator cannot get him to leave. The scrivener has a strange power over his employer, and the narrator feels he cannot do anything to harm this forlorn man. But his business associates begin to wonder at Bartleby's presence at the office, since he does no work, and the threat of a ruined reputation forces the narrator to do something. His attempts to get Bartleby to go are fruitless. So the narrator moves his offices to a new location. Soon afterward, the new tenants of the narrator's old offices come to him asking for help: Bartleby will not leave. When they oust him from the offices, Bartleby haunts the hallways. The narrator goes to see Bartleby in one last attempt to reason with him, but Bartleby rejects him. For fear of being bothered by the anti-Bartleby folks, the narrator stays away from work for a few days. When he returns, he learns that...

Find Another Essay On DEFENSE MECHANISM OF BARTEBLY’S PERSONALITY IN SHORT STORY BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER BY HERMAN MELVILLE

Weak Authority in Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

1419 words - 6 pages In Bartleby the Scrivener; the lawyer, also the narrator, had power over Bartleby in the beginning of the story by hiring him; but then slowly the power diminishes and it causes Bartleby to have power over the lawyer, when he starts replying to everything the lawyer asks of him to with “I would prefer not to.” He doesn’t say “I will not” which confuses the lawyer who takes it as a simple “no.” The lawyer appears to be a kind man that tries to

Self-representation in William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe and Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville

2279 words - 9 pages The stories William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe and Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville are useful examples to discuss the difficulties of self-representation. While the narrator in Poe’s tale begs us to “let me call myself, for the present, William Wilson” the complex self-representation here is also prevalent in the heart of Melville’s story. West's Encyclopedia of American Law tells us that “courts usually discourage self-representation

Herman Melville's Story, Bartleby, the Scrivener

1002 words - 4 pages In Herman Melville's short story, Bartleby, the Scrivener, the narrator's attitude towards Bartleby is constantly changing, the narrator's attitude is conveyed through the author's use of literary elements such as; diction-descriptive and comical, point of view-first person, and tone-confusion and sadness. One of the literary elements that Melville uses that convey the narrator's attitude towards Bartleby is diction. The author's diction in

Themes of Hopelessness in Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener

1231 words - 5 pages We can never be one hundred percent certain of the validity of our literary analyses. This is especially the case with Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”. Critics have been trying for decades to make sense of the text and most will describe it as “inscrutable”. I don’t claim to know better than the critics, but instead offer my own interpretation of the work. Based on my observations and analysis, Melville’s use of many elements in his

Herman Melville's now famous story "Bartleby the Scrivener". Melville wrote this, just after he wrote Moby Dick

1091 words - 4 pages common for an author to incorporate their own personal affairs into their novels. I find that in the case of Bartleby the Scrivener, Melville is incorporating his own feelings towards the characters of Bartleby and the Lawyer.Bartleby the Scrivener is a short story which is narrated by the voice of the lawyer. The story begins with lawyer hiring Bartleby as a Scrivener in his office. Bartleby proves to be a proficient employee in the beginning of

Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener

3556 words - 14 pages Chicago Press, 1955. Melville, Herman. "Bartleby, the Scrivener." Great Short Works of Herman Melville. New York: Harper & Row, 1969. ________________. Israel Potter. New York: Fordham University Press, 1991. Mitchell, Thomas R. "Dead Letters and Dead Men: Narrative Purpose in 'Bartleby, the Scrivener.'" Studies in Short Fiction. 27: 329-38. Schueller, Malani. "Authorial Discourse and Pseudo-Dialogue in Franklin's Autobiography." Early American Literature. 22:94-107 Ziff, Larzer. Writing in the New Nation. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.

Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener

554 words - 2 pages Bartleby- The Scrivener In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”, the author uses several themes to convey his ideas. The three most important themes are alienation, man’s desire to have a free conscience, and man’s desire to avoid conflict. Melville uses the actions of an eccentric scrivener named Bartleby, and the responses of his cohorts, to show these underlying themes to the reader. The first theme, alienation, is displayed best by

Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener

554 words - 2 pages The extremely simplified definition of civil disobedience given by Webster’s Dictionary is “nonviolent opposition to a law through refusal to comply with it, on grounds of conscience.” Thoreau in “Civil Disobedience” and Martin Luther King in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” both argue that laws thought of as unjust in one’s mind should not be adhered to. In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby,” a man named Bartleby is thought of by many to be

Symbolism in Hermana Melville´´s Bartleby, the Scrivener

1250 words - 5 pages     “Bartleby, the Scrivener” is one of The Piazza Tales written by Herman Melville which was one of his greatest works that express the author’s groundbreaking beliefs through a relationship between a narrator and his coworkers. The narrator is a successful lawyer who hires Bartleby. Shortly after, Bartleby manages to drive the narrator crazy by doing absolutely nothing. Doing this, Melville introduces several important prompts for the reader

Analysis of Herman Melville´s Bartleby, the Scrivencer

3347 words - 14 pages Herman Melville (1819-1891) is an American writer who is widely acclaimed, among his most admired works are “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and “Benito Cereno” which both first appeared as magazine pieces and only published in 1856 as part of a collection. “Bartleby” was a story reflecting on the business world of the mid-19th century se t in New York none of its most famous and sometimes dangerous street: Wall Street. Bartleby a strange but

The Plight of the Common Man in Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener

4414 words - 18 pages the individual in his short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener". As America endeavored to achieve a balance between the individual and the community, Bartleby, a common man, is excluded from the promises of democracy. Confined by those who erect walls of constraints, restrained by those who protect the advantages that they uphold as theirs alone, and betrayed by those he served, Bartleby is unable to transcend his life of hardship and despair. His

Similar Essays

Bartleby, The Scrivener A Short Story Written By Herman Melville

2117 words - 8 pages “Bartleby, the Scrivener” is an intriguing short story written by Herman Melville for Putnam's magazine at a time when Melville was in need for money to support his family, shortly after the failure of Pierre in 1852 (Davis 183). The narrator of the work, who is also a practicing lawyer, opens with a description of himself, his employees, and the fact that his business has recently grown. Soon after, the narrator, hires an additional employee

Bartleby The Scrivener By Herman Melville

980 words - 4 pages Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville Herman Melville, an American novelist and major literary figure explored psychological themes in many of his works. Herman Melville was born in 1819 in New York City into an established merchant family. The family's fortune had taken a decline that led to bankruptcy and caused insanity to enter into his father's Life. Through his writing, Melville recreated a part of life that

"Bartleby, The Scrivener" By Herman Melville

696 words - 3 pages Have you ever tried to provide help for someone who refused it at the end? There is no doubt that the help becomes meaningless, even though the person is really eager to give a hand. In the short story "Bartleby, the scrivener" by Herman Melville, the narrator, a lawyer, who was considered as an "eminently safe man" (56). He dealt with the business that took few risks and believed that the easiest path in life was always the best. The lawyer was

A Capitalist World In Bartleby, The Scrivener By Herman Melville

888 words - 4 pages Erick Garza Professor John Dean ENGL 2327 201 9 April 2014 The Good Samaritan In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener” we are introduced to a capitalist world, a capitalist world in which an economic system controlled by private owners with the goal of making profit in the market economy exist. The story is narrated by a man mostly known as “The Lawyer”, the “elderly man” who seeks God’s acceptance by his so called “kindness” shown to