Bartleby Essay Research Paper Society and fate

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Bartleby Essay, Research Paper Society and fate often restrict individuality and freedom of choice, and Melville (in “Bartleby”) uses images of confinement, communication/lack thereof, and instances of fate vs. free will to prove this. 1. The restriction that society and fate put on people’s individuality and freedom of choice can be seen through the images of confinement that Melville uses in “Bartleby”. 2. Bartleby exercised his freedom of choice when he “gently disappeared behind the screen” in the narrator’s office, but only because there was something else he wanted to do, but couldn’t. 3. Bartleby is a mysterious character who does things for reasons unknown to anyone else. 3. He one day just stops doing work, he hardly ever, if ever, leaves his

boss’ office (which is confinement), all he eats is ginger nuts, and then he goes to jail for it, but nobody knows the reasons for his actions and he doesn’t care to tell them. 3. It is clear by his actions, that Bartleby although seeming to be exercising his right of free will, Bartleby has to resort to confining himself in his employer’s office because there is something else he wants to do, but can’t because of the tight restrictions society has put on him. 2. At one point in the story the narrator describes how “a voice came to me from within” the confinement of his office where the owner of the voice had been all night, which would have been against the narrator’s will had he known beforehand that the man was going to be staying there. 3. Indeed the voice

coming from within the narrator’s office was Bartleby’s, who had stayed the night there with no hassles from anyone else because they knew not of his decision to stay there for the night. 3. So, it was not until the morning after that the narrator knew someone had been sleeping in his office and using it as his home. 3. But Bartleby did not just occupy the office at night, he also used it as his home during the day, confining himself behind the screen wall. 3. Bartleby’s confinement behind the screen every day, and stay in the office every night restricted him from taking part in certain actions that people could normally do in their homes during the day or at night. 2. The repeated phrase, “I would prefer not to” that Bartleby says throughout the story shows the

confinement of his thoughts being kept in his head. 3. Bartleby refused to engage in conversation with other people in the story, and when other people would try to engage in conversation with him he simply said that he would prefer not to answer their questions, or do what they ask him to do, and that was as far as conversation with Bartleby had gotten. 3. One possibility is that he restricted himself from letting his thoughts go free, or beyond the boundaries of his head for that matter. 3. The other possibility is that Bartleby’s confinement restricted him from allowing his thoughts to exit his head, no one will ever know for sure. 3. The reasons for Bartleby’s actions are obscure to anyone, especially those who try to understand him, but some argue that the reasons for

his confinement in his employer’s office was because he felt he could not find any better way to express himself. 4. Surely, the restrictions of individuality and freedom of choice that society puts on people in “Bartleby” can be seen through the confinement in the story. 1. The restrictions that society puts on people’s freedom of choice and individuality in “Bartleby” can be seen through Melville’s use of communication/lack thereof. 2. In one scene of the story, although the narrator had entered a room, Bartleby “remained a fixture in” his chamber unmoved by his entrance into the room. 3. Bartleby cared not that the narrator had entered the room, in fact, he probably would have been happier if he had not even been put in the scene. 3. Bartleby was a character