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

The True Intentions Of The Lawyer In “Bartleby, The Scrivener”

807 words - 4 pages

The lawyer, also the narrator, hires Bartleby to work as a scrivener at his business that involves bonds, mortgages and titles. The lawyer thinks he has all of his scriveners behaviors “on lock”. Although Bartleby started as a hard working employee, he eventually and in a calm manner refuses to do any requested work by the lawyer by simply saying, “I would prefer not to”. The lawyer doesn’t fire Bartleby after he declines to work, instead he gives Bartleby another chance. The lawyer preference to remain calm shows that he chooses to stray from confrontation. Bartleby continuous refusal to work leads to him being fired, but he refuses to leave. The lawyer’s philosophy and careful balancing of his employees is compromised by Bartleby actions. The lawyer moves his entire practice to another building to only find Bartleby there. Bartleby is arrested and continues in his bizarre daze. The lawyer visits Bartleby to convince him to eat and get through to him, but it doesn’t work and Bartleby dies. The lawyer sensitivity and empathy towards Bartleby raises questions to the lawyers sincerity. Ultimately, my goal is to demonstrate what was the lawyer’s intent to help Bartleby?
Who is the lawyer you may ask? What kind of person is the lawyer throughout the story? The lawyer doesn’t mention anything about himself except the fact of his job and age. He doesn’t even give his name nor the name of anyone in the story. Through the words that he speaks, the lawyer is a person who like to have structure. The enactment of dealing with people on a personal base is to much of a confrontation for lawyer. Through the ordeal of his interaction with each of his scriveners we learn that the lawyer plays it safe.
Throughout the story the lawyer characterizes each of his scriveners, but not as a person would be. When being suggestive about a person, people are more formal than nicknames for example, his other three scriveners Turkey, Nippers, and Ginger Nut. Although each of the lawyer’s scriveners have worked for him a long time he doesn’t involve anything personal about them. He strategically keeps the life of each, including himself, inside the office. The lawyer describes each of these three as systematic tools. Turkey and Nippers have opposite work ethics. Turkey does...

Find Another Essay On The True Intentions of the Lawyer in “Bartleby, the Scrivener”

Bartleby the Scrivener Essay

1759 words - 7 pages In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”, a story of “the strangest” law-copyist the narrator, a lawyer, has ever employed is told. The narrator experiences conflict with Bartleby when he “prefers not to” examine some law papers. Once Bartleby “prefers not to” once, he continues to repeat the statement on all request asked of him. This statement sends Bartleby into a state of tranquility, staying isolated in the cubical and refusing all

Bartleby the Scrivener Essay

941 words - 4 pages The story begins with an elderly lawyer, whose business picks up to the point where he needs to hire a third scrivener. Nippers and Turkey, his current scriveners, are overworked and have serious health issues; Nippers suffers from stomach problems, and Turkey is an alcoholic. Enter Bartleby, the dreary, desolate, “forlorn-looking” applicant. For whatever reason, the lawyer hires Bartleby. In the beginning Bartleby’s production and work are

"Bartleby the Scrivener"

893 words - 4 pages The story of "Bartleby the Scrivener" is very pessimistic. There seems to be much more to Bartleby than the loser image he exudes. Bartleby seems to be living in his own world, which makes him dead to the real world that surrounds him. It is hard to figure out what caused him to end up this way, but the "dead letters" job he had is definitely one of the events that led him to end up "preferring not to".The definition of "loser" is "one who is

Bartleby The Scrivener

735 words - 3 pages The Walls Surrounding Bartleby Walls can separate and isolate people from the world. They can be physical walls that are around a person, or they can be figurative in the sense that a person can put walls around themselves, their lives, and their feelings. Herman Melville?s short story, ?Bartleby the Scrivener,? uses walls as symbols to show how the main character Bartleby is physically and mentally isolated with a lack of communication from the

“Bartleby, the Scrivener”

660 words - 3 pages In the short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” which was written by Herman Melville, the character named Bartleby is a very odd, yet interesting individual. In the story, Bartleby is introduced when he responds to a job opening at the narrator’s office. Although there is no background information given about him, it becomes very apparent that he will be the antagonist in this story. Unlike the usual image put on the antagonist, Bartleby causes

Bartleby The Scrivener

1176 words - 5 pages delighted with his application," (Melville, 18) as his industriousness maximizes the profits a scrivener can bring. But then, the meritorious nature of Bartleby disappears when he decides to do nothing but erecting in the middle of the office. Production and consumption are the two major natures of capitalism, and in this stage, Bartleby deviates the first nature by replying to almost every request with "I would prefer not to." (Melville, 21) This

Bartleby, the Scrivener

1441 words - 6 pages those who follow the government or other system, voting, but not doing. To fix a wrong in the community, the community must passively resist the needs of the system and find time to act in a way to fight an unjust action. Works Cited Melville, Herman. "Bartleby, the Scrivener." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. Shorter 8 ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. 112-19. Print. Teresa, Mother. "“Being Unwanted

Bartleby The Scrivener

2020 words - 8 pages make it more successful and prosperous. In other cases, the employer tends to be lenient towards his employees. He has a tendency to care about their physical and emotional needs. In Herman Melville's short story, Bartleby the Scrivener, the relationship between employer and employees is a rather compassionate one. The employer, who is also the narrator, has a tendency to show a great deal of over-leniency and sympathy towards the character of

Isolation and Society in Bartleby, the Scrivener

702 words - 3 pages Isolation and Society in Bartleby, the Scrivener         Herman Melville's Bartleby is a tale of isolation and alienation. In his story, society is primarily to blame for the creation and demise of Bartleby.         Throughout the story, the characters -- Bartleby in particular -- are isolated from each other or from society. The forester's office, which can be

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

Social Deviance in Bartleby the Scrivener

684 words - 3 pages Social Deviance in Bartleby the Scrivener           Bartleby the Scrivener is a story that takes place on Wall Street, peopled by workers of a common mold.  Being a non-conformatist of the most extreme type,  Bartleby is eventually suffers a death of attrition.  The message that Melville intends for the reader is how society has little tolerance for social deviance

Similar Essays

Bartleby The Scrivener: Lawyer Double Essay

1074 words - 4 pages Bartleby the Scrivener, by Herman Melville is a novella about a nameless lawyer who has in his employ a scrivener named Bartleby. Bartleby, throughout the novella, has different periods of work. In the beginning, he does his scrivening without reprimand or without hesitation, but as the novella progresses his attitude toward work changes drastically. Mordecai Marcus’ critical essay on the novella makes some good points, such that Bartleby is a

Point Of View In Bartleby, The Scrivener

957 words - 4 pages screen, and demanded the reason for some extraordinary conduct,” asserted the lawyer. Bartleby makes the lawyer feel small, like he cannot control him. Tone is the style or manner the characters portray. In “Bartleby the Scrivener,” The tone displays interest, frustration, and rejection. The narrator is very interested in Bartleby because Bartleby can never give him a straight answer. “I would prefer not to.” is the only answer he ever gets

Allusions In Bartleby The Scrivener Essay

660 words - 3 pages fictitious world of this short story. One of the biggest allusions in “Bartleby, the Scrivener” is the comparison of Bartleby to Jesus. In the story the narrator is confronted by the new owner of the law offices. He asks the narrator if he knows who Bartleby is. The narrator replies with “I certainly cannot inform you. I know nothing about him” (Melville 29). In this instance the narrator is denying knowing who Bartleby is to keep himself from the

"Bartleby, The Scrivener" Essay

932 words - 4 pages ". The lawyer is a very methodical and prudent man and has learned patience by working with others, such as Turkey, Ginger Nut, and Nippers. However, the lawyer's constant concern with his own self-approval cheapens his benevolence toward Bartleby. In fact, the lawyer is not able to see the desperate plight of Bartleby due to his unwavering concern of what the scrivener can do for the lawyer's self-approval instead of what he can do for Bartleby. In