Bartleby the Scrivener analysis

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

As a result, Melville has confidence in him. However, as time goes by, the copyist starts indicating symbols of mental insufficiency by declining to proofread his tasks, ultimately refusing to copy entirely. At first, the copyist states, “prefer not to” to the lawyer’s request to proofread some papers. It gets worse when Bartleby replies “prefer not to” to all tasks given by the narrator. The lawyer offers Bartleby time to recover from the eye strain problem. The copyist dies because of formulating his informed selection on his fate. Having encountered the adverse outcomes of entropy on all attempts of individuals to communicate, the copyist selects death through ultimate isolation for the individual in one ultimate trial to efficiently present a message to another individual.

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Hence, Bartle utilizes his life and death as perfect instances of nature of entropy and the futile existence (Smith, 1988 p. This way, the character attempts to make the narrator of the story aware of the senseless aspect of operations with which people delude themselves into believing that their lives have the purpose. The narrative is essential in how it illustrates the element of entropy as depicted by Bartleby. As a scrivener in Melville’s law firm, Bartleby does nothing creative; he only assists in reproducing documents. As time goes on, Bartleby recognizes that the aspect of proofreading with other people is insincere because it encompasses exchanging of words. To him, the process is fabricated because the words being exchanged lack the appropriate content.

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The aspect of entropy is further illustrated when Bartleby becomes convinced that trying to communicate is useless. Hence, he ends up demonstrating the element of physical entropy. Rather than assisting the scrivener to come out of the isolated circumstances, the narrator offers him the element of not punishing him for undesirable behavior. Melville believes that he is extending the scrivener a favor by leaving him to do his tasks. Therefore, while in the corner, Bartleby is illustrating the physical nature of entropy. Placement in the corner hinders the scrivener from associating with other individuals in the firm. He has nobody to look at except the structures of the law firm. In the absence of restrictions and presence of environmental aspects which shape and bind people to specific limitations and hindrances of mental and physical nature, there exists an opposing factor.

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As supported by Whicher, 2017 p. 21), the opposing element encompasses intelligence and mindful character of countering the adverse aspects of life’s conditions. Emerson’s arguments prove that Bartleby is a transcendentalist. In this case, transcendentalism holds that the existence of facts and the classes of common sense is temporarily exchanged for the perspective of ideas and categories of mere imagination. To relate with an argument with the case of Bartleby, the scrivener was unconcerned with what was done by his workmates in Melville’s law firm. In addition, when he was taken to the prison, he was not concerned with the activities of his fellow inmates. He did not conform to the norms and values of the prison. Rather than following what was popular among other people, the scrivener believed that he should establish himself as a person of his choice and live his life by individual character and behavior.

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Melville uses literary devices to present his message in the narrative. A similar instance of tactful artistry is the use of the phrase “pillar of salt” to represent the lawyer’s response at the head of his clerks. The symbol illustrates how Bartleby upholds transcendentalism by attempting to live alone without involving other people. In conclusion, from the discussion above, it is evident that the narrator of Bartleby the Scrivener is competent in his story. This would not have been successful without the application of various literary devices. In addition, applying the theory of entropy enables the narrator to show the character of Bartleby. The Norton Anthology of American Literature (8th ed. , pp. York & London. W. W. Norton Company Smith, Peter A.

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