In "Bartleby the Scrivener," in what ways does the narrator's characterization of him as a "fixture" or "the last column of a ruined temple" help the reader to see him as a structural object-a piece of furniture or of architecture-rather than as a human being? In what way does this transformation into objects cause the narrator to see himself as a "a "pillar of salt"?

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The lawyer narrator describes himself as a pillar of salt long before he refers to Bartleby either as a "fixture" or as a "column" in a "ruined temple."

The pillar of salt comment comes as Bartleby once again, for the fifth time, says he would "prefer not to" when the lawyer requests he do something. The narrator, in using the term "pillar of salt," refers to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the biblical book of Genesis. When Lot and his wife are fleeing those wicked cities as they are being destroyed, they are told by God not to look back. Lot's wife glances back one last time at her former home and is frozen into a pillar of salt. Lot can move onward, but she is stuck...

(The entire section contains 372 words.)

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