Why the lawyer didnt kick out Bartleby the Scrivener

Essay by theptrkHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2005

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In the short storyBartleby the Scrivener, Bartleby is the narrating lawyers hired scrivener. When Bartleby is relieved from his duty, he refuses to leave. Despite continued attempts to remove him from the office, Bartleby doesn't budge from his tiny workspace. But the lawyer who employs him does not kick him out. He even denies his other employees from throwing him out. But what are his motivations for keeping Bartleby?

That's what I uncover in this breathtaking essay.

The major reason that Bartleby stayed in the office for as long as he did was because of the lawyers' compassion and kindness towards the man. Occasionally he makes comments about Bartleby, such as "But he seemed alone, absolutely alone in the universe" and "Yet I was sorry for him." To even form these kinds of opinions of him, he must hold compassion for the man. In the second quote, he even claims that he feels sorrow for the man.

In desperation he considers his options " But how? You will not thrust him, the poor, pale passive mortal, you will not thrust such a helpless creature our of your door? You will not dishonor yourself by such cruelty? No, I will not, I cannot do that." Even though the lawyer is frantically contemplating the ways he can coax Bartleby to leave, he doesn't think twice about physically kicking him out. His compassion for Bartleby overcame his desire to fire him and throw him out on the streets.

On the other hand, Bartleby has lost his compassion for his job. When he first went into work he was the ideal worker. He worked long hours and didn't complain. But he eventually stopped working all together. In the beginning he poured his heart into his work but after he found that...