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Bartleby, The Scriverner

August 12th, 2009 No comments

In Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” the narrator, an anonymous lawyer, describes himself as one who lives a simple and mundane life. According to the narrator, his philosophy on life is that “the easiest way in life is the best way”. He is a man who takes few risks in life and tries to conform to the norm of society. However, after hiring a new scrivener, Bartleby, the narrator finds himself pulled into an existence of confusion and conflict.

The protagonist informs us that for thirty some odd years he has maintained a descent business preparing documents for the wealthy. He also makes it known that he stays away from the court room because he is not ambitious and he is known to be extremely safe. By the narrator’s own admission he knows very little about his employees; he knows only what he sees at the office. Turkey, one of the narrator’s law copyists, is productive in the morning and drunk in the afternoon. Read more…