Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Stress is said to be a short story which has been written by an American writer whose name is Herman Melville. The book had been serialized firstly into two parts in the month November and December in the 1853 issues of the Putnam’s magazine which was reprinted later with some minimal alternations in The Piazza Tales which was published in the year, 1856. It can be seen that in this story, the lawyer is seen to hire a new clerk who after putting a lot of hard work initially is seen to refuse to many any kind of copies or even perform tasks which he needs to do and is seen to reply with the term that I would prefer to not to do the work. It has been seen that this story has become extremely popular and there are many essays which have been seen to have been published about this story which is often described to be a masterpiece of the short fiction story.
The basic plot of this story is the fact that the narrator in this story is considered to be an elderly lawyer who does not have any name in the book however is seen to work with many legal documents and owns an office on the Wall Street. He is seen to employ two scrivener, Nippers and Turkey in order to copy all the legal documents by their hand however, it can be seen that the increase in his business had led him to market or advertise for the third. This nameless lawyer is then seen to hire the forlorn looking Bartleby by thinking and hoping the fact that it is his kindness which will help in soothing the two, where both of them is seen to display their temperament during the opposite majority of the day. Later, it can be seen that a new office boy who was nicknamed as Ginger Nut joined this company and completed the staff.
In the beginning, it had been seen that Bartleby produced very large volume or high number of high-quality work however it was one day, during the time when he had asked for a help which was to proofread some document for him, but Bartleby is seen to respond in such a way which can be seen that it become his patent statement which he states for every sentence which was that he would not prefer to do it. It can be seen that to the very dismay of the elderly lawyer who is the narrator, and also the irritation of all the employees who was working in the same firm, Bartleby is seen to do very little tasks which eventually led to him not working or doing any task. He did not work at all and rather was seen to spend all the time by just staring out of one of the windows of the office. The elderly lawyer was seen to make many attempts so that he could reason with him and even to learn about him however he was always unsuccessful in it. One morning on a Sunday, the narrator was seen to stop by the office where he discovered Bartleby is living in that office which makes him sad by the very thought that how miserable the life of this young man might be that he has to stay in this office.
Tension was increasing when the associates or the employees in the business were wondering the fact that why Bartleby was seen to present and came to the office regularly when he did not have any intent of doing any kind of work in the office. The narrator did sense the threat which was causing him his reputation due to the behaviour of Bartleby but he was emotionally unable to terminate Bartleby from his job and thus decided to shift him to another building. The tenant of the old office had come to ask for some help and wanted Bartleby to be evicted from the office but the narrator is seen to tell the tenant that is not the one who is responsible for employees who have worked in his office in the past. It was after a week that there were many other tenants of the previous office building of the narrator who had come to the narrator with all their landlord especially because they felt that Bartleby was making nuisance that too of himself though he has been put in some other office he is seen to sit on the stairs of the building every day and is seen to sleep in the doorway ay the night. It is the narrator that thinks and agrees that he will be visiting Bartleby and then make attempts to understand him. The narrator meets Bartleby and then is seen to suggest him many jobs that would suit his skills and qualifications which he may try and also invites Bartleby to stay with him unless he can figure out a suitable situation which can help him from something which has been bothering him and has been impacting his life in such a way. However, Bartleby listens to the offer made by the narrator and states that he would like to make any kind of changes in his life and thus rejects the offer which was made to him. It is then when the narrator departs from the building and then goes to the neighbourhood for some days so that the tenants and the landlords do not bother hum by questioning him about Bartleby.
The narrator after few days returns to the workplace where he gets to know about the fact that the landlord had called the cops or the police so that they could arrest Bartleby. Bartleby, at this time was imprisoned in the Tombs. The narrator is seen to visit Bartleby so that he can see whether he was ok and to see whether he required anything. It has been seen that the narrator even bribed the cook there and made sure that Bartleby has enough food which will help him to sustain and remain healthy. The narrator returned to the Tomb again after a few days so that he could check Bartleby and see whether he is doing well when suddenly he discovers that Bartleby is no more in the world and he had lost his life because of starvation. He had understood that Bartleby did not prefer eating and all the food which the cook would prepare for him he would not eat and would rather starve himself which eventually led to his death. The story finally ends with the narrator telling to himself “Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!”.
It can be seen that this story reflects on many aspects which are seen to have become important in recent times. This story is considered to be an example for clinical depression where it can be seen that Bartleby does not want to do anything which would help in fixing his life situation where rather he would prefer to die. This book has engaged many people and has become one of their favourite reads of them. This book has got many critical acclaims as well. In the year, 2019, on November 5th, BBC was seen to list this story as one of the 100 most influential novels. According to many people, this novel had changed their perspective about mental illness and how it can have devastating impacts on the life of people where they are often seen to become dead despite of them living physically.
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