DEFENSE MECHANISM OF BARTEBLY'S PERSONALITY IN SHORT STORY BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER BY HERMAN MELVILLE
A literary work can be reviewed by using different approaches, such as the sociological approach to literature that focuses on human problems, the structural approach that focuses on autonomy as a work of literary fiction, and others. I use the short story "Bartleby The Scrivener" by Herman Melville as study materials.
"Bartleby The Scrivener" is a short story which is narrated by an elderly lawyer who does a comfortable business helping wealthy men deal with mortgages, title deeds, and bonds, relates the story of the strangest man he has ever known. Bartleby is a new addition to the narrator's staff. The narrator already employs two scriveners, Nippers and Turkey. Nippers suffers from indigestion, and Turkey is a drunk, but the office survives because in the mornings Turkey is sober even though Nippers is irritable, and in the afternoon Nippers has calmed down even though Turkey is drunk.
Ginger Nut, the office boy, gets his name from the little cakes he brings the men. Bartleby comes in answer to ad, and the narrator hires the forlorn looking young man in hopes that his calmness will soothe the temperaments of the other scriveners.
One day, when Bartleby is asked to help proofread one of the documents he copied, he answers simply, "I would prefer not to." It is the first of many refusals. To the dismay of the narrator and the irritation of the other employees, Bartleby takes part in fewer and fewer duties around the office. The narrator attempts to reason with Bartleby and learn about him, but Bartleby always responds the same way when asked to do a task or give out information about him: "I would prefer not to." One weekend, when the narrator stops...