Bartleby The Scrivener Essay

After the lawyer places an advert in the local newspaper, Bartleby applies for the position of a copyist and the lawyer hires him.The first few days in job are great for Bartleby, given his swiftness and accuracy in writing.Turkey is the Lawyer’s age mate (over sixty years) and even though he is a prudent copyist, as afternoons approach he wears out quickly and makes silly mistakes in typing.On the other side, Nippers, a twenty-five year old energetic lad, is the precise opposite of Turkey.To his disappointment, he finds that Bartleby is stubborn as ever and even after the Lawyer invites him to come live in his house, Bartleby refuses.The Lawyer simply leaves for he cannot do anything more and this leads to Bartleby arrest on charges of vagrancy.As aforementioned, the Lawyer, who runs a law firm on Wall Street, is the narrator.

As the story unfolds, the Lawyer passes by his office on one Sunday morning only to find Bartleby inside, wearing shirtsleeves.He has issues in the morning sessions but as afternoons approach, he concentrates more in his work giving better results.However, this story concentrates on Bartleby, a newly employed copyist.The Lawyer states clearly that Bartleby is no longer his worker so he has nothing to do with him.Few days later, the new tenant comes back to the Lawyer and pleads with him to talk with Bartleby and the Lawyer agrees.Bartleby, courteously but firmly refuses to do his routine job; something that puzzles the Lawyer, who calls it “passive resistance.” The Lawyer seeks to find out why Bartleby does not want to do his job; however, he gets the same reply of ‘…not to’.Bartleby’s behavior puzzles the Lawyer forcing him to ask other copyists what they think about Bartleby.After the Lawyer consults him to do some work, he says, “I would prefer not to” (Melville 5).The Lawyer does not realize this stance would later turn to a mantra until Bartleby uses it often and sticks to it.However, after few days, Bartleby’s presence draws attention of some friends and customers and the Lawyer decides to move his business to another apartment to save it.Few days, the new tenant of the Lawyer’s previous apartment visits the Lawyer and asks him to deal with Bartleby.

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