How does the narrator account for his gradual acceptance of Bartleby's behavior (in "Bartleby the Scrivener")? What are the main reasons for this acceptance?It's for the part between "Shall I...

How does the narrator account for his gradual acceptance of Bartleby's behavior (in "Bartleby the Scrivener")? What are the main reasons for this acceptance?

It's for the part between "Shall I acknowledge it?" and "Every added repulse of this sort which I received only tended to lessen the probability of my repeating the inadvertence."

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The story’s larger symbolism comes into play when asking about the narrator’s motives and cessation of effort.  This piece fictionalizes Man’s impotence in the face of the inevitable; at its rawest, it is an argument for the consequences of believing in predestination.  While we as a species live under the illusion that our choices change things, Bartleby has gone past that illusion to a state of not making “decisions” any more, because of the futility of doing so.  The narrator, too, after a few attempts at changing Bartleby’s non-choices, realizes that further efforts are also futile; the more he tries to act on the world to no avail, the closer he gets to the same conclusion as Bartleby; thus the non-trying of the narrator, and his acceptance of Bartleby's odd behavior.  This story, compelling in its logic, can bring about inaction on its readers.  The “A” student, when told to write an essay on this story, should say “I prefer not to.”

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