We also learn that the characters and their surroundings will play a role in the telling of the story. In this case, the narrator who is the lawyer believes in the materialistic viewpoint whereas Bartley believes in the existentialist perspective. Is writing off a suffering man by saying he's responsible for himself only a way to excuse our own lack of compassion? Turkey, Nippers, and Ginger Nut naturally take the lawyer's side, but Bartleby remains silent, concealed behind his folding screen. Death itself is the only constant. Moreover, once Bartleby's work ethic begins to decline, the narrator still allows his employment to continue, perhaps out of a desire to avoid confrontation. As his work responsibilities increase, the narrator realizes that he needs to employ an additional scrivener.
His sincerity, though, is questionable. The passiveness of Bartleby sometimes irritated me. On errands of life, these letters speed to death. Bartleby is a creature unable to adapt to this world, because he is too honest about what appeals to him. New York: Columbia University Press. Has he failed as a human being if he has done any less than all he can? Then the copyist begins demonstrating signs of mental imbalance by refusing to proofread his work, finally refusing to copy altogether.
This made the lawyer to realize that something is wrong with Bartleby. This is described by the lawyer as being 'an indispensable part of a scrivener's business. He is impossible to deal with, and the reader feels the lawyer's frustrations when his various attempts to deal with Bartleby fail. He can't get him to join the proofreading sessions. As the story progresses, nothing in life interests or excites Bartleby any more. Wall Street is a bleak and unnatural landscape, and Bartleby also stays there at night, when the bustling human population vanishes and the streets become desolately empty.
These assistants run errands that are ordered mainly by the bosses. The image depicted here is not healthy one, to put it mildly. It comes to the point where Bartleby even refuses to fulfill basic biological needs such as finding a home or feeding himself. He is a young man plagued, as the narrator tells us, by the two evils of ambition and indigestion. The forester's office, which can be interpreted as a microcosm of society, was teeming with walls to separate the head ranger from his employees and to separate the employees from one another. Therefore, this depicts Bartley as someone who has already lost hope in life something, which foreshadows his death at the end. Ironically, when Bartleby won't conform to 'normal' behavior, the office begins to conform to him.
In the story, Melville depicts The Scrivener as an awkward human being, but Bartleby is not human. Having just discovered that Bartleby has been living in the law offices, the lawyer considers that he and the other workers may be the only people that are close to Bartleby. The comparison is strange in that Cicero was a figure known for his powerful persona and bold speaking style, qualities which Bartleby does not possess. He has failed to help even one man. Several weeks later the stranger returns to the lawyer's office, accompanied by several of his colleagues, to demand that the lawyer do something to remove Bartleby.
The narrator tries multiple tactics to get Bartleby to conform to the standards of the workplace, and ultimately realizes that Bartleby's mental state is not that of normal society. The final renunciation will be of living itself, characteristically arrived at indirectly by the preference not to eat. His success at getting away with his uncooperativeness comes from his very passivity, which seems to cast a spell over the narrator. The use of distinctive characters allows for a diverse picture to be developed while allowing individual characters to stand out. In his story, society is primarily to blame for the creation and demise of Bartleby.
In this way the lawyer compels the reader to continue reading and suggests that his short story is already great literature. Bartleby is no different from these letters. He does not make any request for changes in the workplace, but just continues to be passive to the work happening around him. Bartleby will detach from the world in stages, beginning with this first statement. He chooses to alienate himself from the world in which he could not conform to and leave it behind. The last physical characteristic that foreshadows the death of Bartleby is that he is described as pitiably respectable. He offers to help Bartleby get any kind of job he wants.
Turkey A sixtyish, corpulent Englishman, Turkey is gray-haired, short of stature, and red of face following his noon meal. The lawyer's safe haven is where his office is: Wall Street. On a symbolic level, however, his behavior represents a profound negation of modern life, a refusal to engage with a commercial society based on principles of efficiency and greed. He portrays himself as a generous man, although there are instances in the text that question his reliability. The landscape of Wall Street is completely unnatural, and one is cut off from nature and almost all living things.
The story paints a picture of the daily goings-on in the law office before the arrival of Bartleby. The major players of the story are the Boss and Bartleby. Nippers A sallow-skinned, bewhiskered, dyspeptic malcontent of twenty-five, Nippers is neat, well dressed, and swift at his copying. Bartleby is also a testament to the inherent failure present in language: it is revealed that Bartleby previously worked at the Dead Letter Office, where his task was to destroy lost or undelivered letters. Since the lawyer decides to humor Bartleby, he ends up giving more work to his other employees and himself.
The lawyers here states that while happiness is easy to see because people are willing to share their happiness, misery and depression is often hidden below the surface. Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend. Bartleby is a scrivener, which, in simple terms, is a human version of a modern day copy machine. Bartleby does represent a force beyond himself as an individual because of his stubborn and resistant ways of responding to people. Yes, Bartleby, stay there behind your screen, thought I; I shall persecute you no more; you are harmless and noiseless as any of these old chairs… At last I see it, I feel it; I penetrate to the predestinated purpose of life… Others may have loftier parts to enact; but my mission in this world, Bartleby, is to furnish you with office-room for such period as you may see fit to remain. The Lawyer: The lawyer is the narrator of this story.