Bartleby the Scrivener
Herman Melville wrote 'Bartleby the Scrivener' towards the end of his declining career. Melville, wrote Bartleby after he wrote his now famous book "Moby Dick". However, in Melville's time Moby Dick was not the hit it is today. Perhaps in Melville's eyes, his career as a writer was not going the way he desired. In order to support his family and continue to earn a living, Melville continued to write novels. It is rather common for an author to incorporate their own personal affairs into their novels. I find that in the case of Bartleby the Scrivener, Melville is incorporating his own feelings towards the characters of Bartleby and the Lawyer.
Bartleby the Scrivener is a short story which is narrated by the voice of the lawyer. The story begins with lawyer hiring Bartleby as a Scrivener in his office. Bartleby proves to be a proficient employee in the beginning of the story; but soon he stops doing any work in the office by saying 'I would prefer not to.'
The Lawyer, being a sophisticated person, tries to figure out Bartleby however cannot seem to comprise his behavior. Later, the lawyer soon finds out that Bartleby has nowhere to live; Bartleby stays in the office twenty-four hours a day. After several attempts to move Bartleby out of the office, the lawyer finally moves his office to a different location. Bartleby then ends up end jail because of his dwelling in the office where he eventually starves to death.
Throughout the story Bartleby appears to be oppressed through the eyes of the narrator. The story takes on a pessimistic tone. When trying to decide on who the main character is in Bartleby, one must first analyze Melville's intentions of the story. No one can ever...