Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville, is, among other things a short story regarding tha realtionship between a lawyer, his law copyist., and their conflicting wills and personalities.The ""�rather elderly"� lawyer is the narrator of this story reporting on a young man that once worked for him as a law copyist in his wall street office. "¦.Althought the story is centered around Bartleby , the lawyers characteristics become clear and it becomes evident that the narrator reveals more of is own vvalues and motivations than those of bartleby who he never fully comprehends or appreciates..

The story begins when the narrator hires Bartleby as a scrivener to relieve the workload in his wall street law office. His initial description of Bartleby is of a "motionless"� young man, "pitiably neat, pitiabal respectful, incurably forlorn"� At first Bartleby seems to "gorge himself"� andon the lawyers documents presenting himself as a productive and diligent worker.

However, as the story continues he becomes less and less efficient.

After a few days of such diligent work the narrator is taken aback when bartleby says that he "prefers not to"� assist in proofreading a small document. The lawyer concludes that if it werent for bartleby's composure and rational matter htat he would of "violenlty dismissed him from the premises"�. In the coming days afterwards bartleby remains indusrrious except for singular pauses and and sporadic occasios when he prefers not to work.

The lawyer identifies Bartlebys action as "passive resistance"�, a particulary aggrevating tactic to the earnest, humane man the lawyer thiks himself to be. In order to avoid Bartleby's refusal, the lawyer asks him to do less ans less.

As the story progresses the lawyer discovers that Bartleby had made his office his personal living quarters. At first, He summons sympathy for Bartleby's...