• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" introduces many interesting characters with many different personalities to us.

Extracts from this document...


Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" introduces many interesting characters with many different personalities to us. However, out of Ginger Nut, Turkey, Nippers, and Bartleby, the narrator an elderly man, who makes his living helping rich men deal with their legal documents, is the most intruging. The narrators feelings towards Bartleby change as the story progresses making him a round character, and one of the narrator's personalty traits is him not being very assertive, having a weak will. The narrator is a round character because he goes through a change of personality from being upset at Bartleby, to being kind and caring to Bartleby. For example the narrator needed to proofread four quadruplicates of an important document, he calls in all of his employees to sit and proofread while he reads aloud from the original, and all of them come except for Bartleby. When called on specifically, Bartleby answers as usual, "I would prefer not to"(123). When the narrator tries to reason with him, Bartleby simply repeats, "I would prefer not to"(123). The narrator becomes agitated, and is so taken aback by Bartleby's refusals that he looks to his employees for support. ...read more.


A fraternal melancholy! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam"(128). Bartleby's plight draws the narrator into depths of feeling that he did not know he was capable of having. After moving, and being rid of Bartleby, he finds a note telling him that Bartleby has been arrested and moved to the Tombs as a vagrant. The narrator goes to the prison to check on Bartleby only because he cares and knows that nobody else will. This shows how the narrator has changed and how he is truly beginning to care about Bartleby. The narrator is the antagonist in the story because he is not the main character in the story. The elderly narrator is simply the person in the story who relates what he knows about a particular man, one Bartleby (the protagonist), who worked for him some time ago. The narrator, is also a weak willed man. He seems to put up with everything. He tolerates the tempers of both Turkey and Nippers day after day. Turkey is productive in the mornings, but he's drunk by noon. ...read more.


Also, when the narrator asks Bartleby to do something, Bartleby simply replies that he, "would prefer not to." Bartleby does whatever he feels like doing. The narrator allows this behavior, and just calls upon Turkey or Nippers to do the work. Other times the narrator would ask his other employees for advice, but does nothing to discipline Bartleby. Later, Bartleby quit working altogether. The narrator allows this and Bartleby ends up just living in the office. By not asserting himself, the narrator allows his employees to get drunk in the work place and allows Bartleby to decided whenever he wants to work. In conclusion, the narrator feelings towards Bartleby changes as the story progresses. He begins to help Bartleby by giving him money and offering Bartleby a place to stay. He also visits Bartleby in prison when he hears about the news. The narrator is also a weak willed man that does not do anything with Turkey's drinking problem and Nippers irritability, even though he does acknowledge that they are "valuable" several times, he does not to exercise his right as their employer to ensure that they behave in a manner suitable for his business. The narrartor also allows Bartleby to get away with not doing his work. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree James Joyce section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree James Joyce essays

  1. Comparison and Contrast of the Main Characters in "A & P" and "Araby"

    Instead of realizing that he is merely a young man with his own destiny to make, the narrator has foolishly blinded himself from seeing beyond his present circumstance. The young man does progress as he discovers that life is unpredictable and no where near perfect, but has not passed the

  2. short story

    3-Connor, Kynan D. Allusive mechanics in modern and postmodern fiction as suggested by James Joyce in his novel 'Dubliners' (Ireland)

  1. Bernard MacLaverty - More Than Just The Disease

    Similarly, Neil also strikes her as very different from the other children such as Michael who habitually throws stones in her pond and who we suspect she has little time for because she mistakenly calls him Benjamin. The pair strike up a conversation and before he knows it, he has revealed his secret to her.

  2. The Dead By James Joyce

    For instance, Freddy Malins comical side is extended, like the moment where he is "chasing" the drink that is being passed around the table but "some how" skipping him. Also, on another account, it can be argued that John Huston tried to introduce at an earlier stage the notion that something was not quite what it looked like.

  1. While no major events take place in the opening chapter of Ulysses, it remains ...

    Just after he describes himself this way, he offers a description of the ocean saying, "Isn't the sea what Algy calls it: a grey sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea."3 These are crude images and suggest that Mulligan has a crude view of the world.

  2. With reference to any two short stories that you have studied in the course, ...

    After she answers his questions, he continues asking whether luck is money and why were some people lucky and some not. Being curious and inquisitive actually leads them to be good planners. "Having thoroughly confirmed and fortified her suspicions Nicholas slipped back into the house and rapidly put into execution

  1. Short story - I have encountered many stories in my life so far.

    But even furthermore, the character of the man disturbed and even kind of angered me. He was cruel, and merciless towards the kangaroos. This was shown by his actions. The way he treated the kangaroos brought up some anger in me because he had no regard for another living creature, although not human.

  2. In my essay, I will be writing mainly about Keawe and Paul as they ...

    Kokua: Kokua first came across in the story when Keawe noticed her when walking along the beach one day. He did not tell Kokua straight away who he was because he thought that if he told her who he really was then she may have heard of him and not

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work