Bartleby Essay Research Paper Society has set

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Bartleby Essay, Research Paper Society has set a standard in which a person must do something useful to be something good. So, what would the solution be when someone separates from society? Society s answer would either be to try and make that person do something or force that person to leave society permanently. The reason society feels this way is because society is unwilling to see any other view aside from their own, and when that view is challenged the only choice one has is to entirely reject society and be ready to face the consequences. In Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville, the narrator has a most unusual incident with an employee he hires as a law copyist. Bartleby started out being a very productive worker, but soon after he decided to quit everything and

disconnect himself from the outside world. Through the use of an office setting, dialogue, and symbolism, the author is able to prove that detaching from society is dangerous, not only for that person but also on society. Unvoiced communication jeopardizes interpersonal relations to the degree of devaluing the individual and dehumanizing relationships. The Wall Street office setting places Bartleby in a picture perfect environment where he can shut himself out of society. In the opening scene, the narrator hires Bartleby as a scrivener and makes him a workplace in the office. I placed his desk close up to a small side window within three feet of the panes was a wall I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate Bartleby (889). The narrator, like any other

employer, is trying to give Bartleby some privacy, but the privacy actually minimizes Bartleby s interactions with others too much. Bartleby s window should give a form of escape, but in Bartleby s case the window forces him behind another wall, thus furthering his isolation. The narrator illustrates Bartleby s isolation, he would stand looking out, at his pale window behind the screen, upon the dead brick wall (895). As Bartleby looked out at the dead brick wall he saw his own solitude and severance from humankind. The office gives Bartleby a sense of security because it allows him to hide from the world he can t live in and the civilization he rejects. Gordon E. Bigelow clarifies the importance of the setting, The Wall Street setting must also be seen here as presence.

Continuous symbolic notation of dead walls creates a dark entity which makes itself felt as a sinister, engulfing, deathlike force. Wall Street is a place, but it is also people, and we come here to one phase of coalescence. The place is permeated by particular facets of human character, which it expresses: acquisitiveness, selfish hedonism, callous exploitation of the weak, ruthless suppression of nonconformity (352). The office constructs a place where death awaits. Wall Street is not just a place, but also a certain type of people. These people at Wall Street have very strict guidelines to which they follow, and a break from the norm is never wanted and will not be tolerated. In society, a person can have one of two choices, either be what is considered normal or understand

that not being normal will result in dismissal from society. Melville is also proposing that disconnecting from society will lead to the inability for that person to sustain life. Throughout the story, the dialogue between the narrator and Bartleby show the dividing path Bartleby has chosen. Soon after Bartleby is hired, the narrator asks him to examine a paper for accuracy but he refuses to help. Bartleby! Quick, I am waiting. soon he appeared standing at the entrance of his hermitage. What is wanted? said he, mildly We are going to examine them, there and I held towards him the fourth quadruplicate. I would prefer not to, he said, and gently disappeared behind the screen Why do you refuse? I would prefer not to (890). By Bartleby not ever being rational the narrator is never