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Bartleby: Bartleby is a deeply disturbed person but it is impossible to pinpoint why and how.Bartleby confines himself to a small 'hermitage' in the office.At the end, the narrator shows up and finds Bartleby dead.
The theme of conformity plays a role throughout the short story.
A great deal of the conflict is caused by Bartleby's unwillingness to conform.
For a Wall Street lawyer, he is surprisingly passive-aggressive in his dealings with Bartleby.
He could easily call the police and have the constable remove Bartleby from his office, but instead he actually moves to another building.
Try it risk-free This lesson provides a brief summary of Herman Melville's short story, 'Bartleby, the Scrivener.' You can learn about the conflict between the protagonist of the story, the lawyer, and the antagonist, the lawyer's scrivener, Bartleby.
Read about the humorous situations that occur throughout the story, and find out its tragic ending.
With Bartleby living at the office and doing no work, the lawyer finally decides to move his office to another building.
But it is not long before the tenant of the new building shows up, wanting to know who the heck Bartleby is, and why is he living there.
This is described by the lawyer as being 'an indispensable part of a scrivener's business.' When Bartleby is asked to do this, he replies, 'I would prefer not to.' The lawyer is shocked at this response and continues to press Bartleby, who merely continues to say 'I would prefer not to.' Finally, the lawyer and the others carry on without Bartleby.
After this, Bartleby begins to say, 'I would prefer not to,' to everything he is asked, no matter how small.