To start a good thesis, I'd suggest honing in on which parts of the story really speak to you. What message do you think the author is trying to deliver, and how can you present that as an effective road (or thought) map for your paper? Once you decide on...
To start a good thesis, I'd suggest honing in on which parts of the story really speak to you. What message do you think the author is trying to deliver, and how can you present that as an effective road (or thought) map for your paper? Once you decide on these key ideas, the paper should begin to take shape. Just remember that the thesis should be a debatable yet defendable statement, and as you write it, try to link to specific key words or ideas that will become the body paragraphs of your essay.
Here are a couple of ideas that could work with the story (without knowing what speaks to you):
The narrator is responsible for Bartleby's death. In this paper, you could examine how the narrator has a greater moral obligation than he recognizes in making sure a fellow human is cared for. When the narrator abandons Bartleby to the new occupants of the building, he exhibits a lack of moral guidance in protecting this man.
Adhering to social norms is necessary in order to function in society. In this paper, you could examine how Bartleby fails to comply with what is expected of him. He doesn't provide any solid reasoning for his choices; he just follows his personal preferences. Your body paragraphs could follow how this break with the rules in his world ultimately leads to his death.
First person point of view allows Bartleby to remain a mystery, and Bartleby reflects a misunderstood segment of society. Although we know the thoughts of the narrator, who grows increasingly frustrated with Bartleby's antics, we don't really know why Bartleby acts the way he does. Why does he "prefer not to"? This could be extended to so many people in society who are misunderstood and are seen only from an outsider's point of view. If we as individuals don't make an effort to connect with those who walk outside the realms of normalcy in life, will they suffer the same fate as Bartleby? Do we all owe more to those who are different and who "prefer not to" do any number of socially accepted tasks or behaviors?