Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Questions and Answers

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

In the first few paragraphs of "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street," Melville paints a picture of the lawyer as an elderly, orderly, calm, successful though not professionally energetic,...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2010 12:48 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The two terms you are using here are later developments in literature. Marxism is primarily a political term, which when applied to literature, has to have more than just a business connection –...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2012 4:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

This answer is perfectly legitimate, but ignores the deeper significance of Bartleby’s “I prefer not to.” Melville is trying to dramatize the difference between goal-driven action and personal...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2016 4:11 pm UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The protagonist is the character who changes the status quo. For example, in Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire it is obvious that Blanche Dubois is the protagonist, since she enters...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2012 2:46 pm UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Though the connection is looser, Terry Gilliam's Brazil could be said to resemble Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener." Both feature protagonists who lead colorless lives amid a dehumanizing office...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2018 2:11 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

In Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street, some experts look at our title character "in symbolic terms." I do not agree. One theme in the story is individualism. He is...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2011 3:22 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

A literary climax is defined as that moment or event at which the final outcome of the story is determined. This may be the most emotional and exciting moment in the story but that is not a...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2010 6:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Herman Melville was required to take on many mundane jobs, as his career as an author failed to ever launch him into much success during his lifetime. The character of Bartleby, however, does more...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2018 7:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

In "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall street," by Herman Melville, there are several passages in which the narrator would seem the main character with his internal struggle of how to best deal...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2011 11:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

This short story by Herman Melville is an excellent example of the author's style and his power in creating memorable images and scenes through his words. Although in this short story the first...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2013 10:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Using the lawyer to tell the story makes it more difficult so that the story can be interpreted in a number of ways. The lawyer admits he is a man of "assumptions" and that he's...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2007 2:03 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

"Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tall of Wall Street" is open to so many interpretations. It can certainly be interpreted as a manifesto of political and/or social resistance. Consider the details....

Latest answer posted September 13, 2012 9:29 pm UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The lawyer, who feels sympathy and compassion towards Bartleby, nevertheless wants him to leave the office for good after Bartleby repeatedly states that he "prefers not" to do work anymore....

Latest answer posted October 2, 2020 5:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Herman Melville was writing for the educated elite literary audience of his day. These were the individuals who had a sound background in classics and a compelling interest in political affairs of...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2010 1:48 am UTC

2 educator answers

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Everything in the story is seen from the point of view of Jonas, the protagonist. So I think that you would say that the story is told from his point of view. However, you should not say that the...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2010 9:53 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

In Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street," a great deal of what drives Bartleby's boss is a sense of complete mystification, then concern, and finally frustration. But...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2012 1:30 pm UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

This quotation comes at the end of an addendum the lawyer supposedly added to the story. In it, he tells of a rumor that Bartelby had been fired from a job at the dead letter department in the Post...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2009 10:48 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The lawyer who hires Bartleby as a clerk becomes increasingly perplexed as his once hard-working employee stops working, responding to every request with an "I prefer not to." Bartleby eventually...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2017 11:59 am UTC

2 educator answers

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

There is some critical debate as to whether Melville added the epilogic story about the Dead Letter Office at Washington as an afterthought or whether it was part of his original story plan for...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Mrerik's answer is correct, but I'd like to add just a bit more. By the 1850s, the time when Melville pens his tale of passive-resistance, people were increasingly moved out of their lives in the...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2007 8:44 pm UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

As the story begins, the narrator, an attorney, establishes the setting in which it takes place. From his description, three appropriate adjectives would be small, gloomy, and crowded. The...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2020 5:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Though we often think of the protagonist as the lead character in a story, a protagonist can also be an important character or a character, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, who is the...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2020 9:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Because "Bartleby the Scrivener" is told by a first-person narrator with a strong sympathy for Bartleby, we can't accept all the judgments in the story as reliable. The narrator himself, Bartleby's...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2019 10:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Like a dead letter, Bartleby has been neglected. He has no home and no place to go. He has nothing to tie him to this world. Like the dead letter, he moved around in search of some grounding,...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2007 9:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

With the apparent propensity of Herman Melville for writing narratives in which characters have doubles--in Moby Dick, Ahab has two alter egos: Pip as his imaginative side, and Fedulla as his...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2010 3:25 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Melville is trying to point out the consequences of having someone do menial labor that requires little thought, but a lot of accuracy, day in and day out. He is also pointing out that people are...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2008 5:01 am UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Both stories can be read as showing the destructive outcome of desiring perfection in this world. When he is first hired by the lawyer narrator who tells the story in "Bartleby the Scrivener,"...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2019 9:22 pm UTC

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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

A Wall-Street attorney, the narrator is approximately sixty years old, having held for years a prominent position in his field as Master in Chancery. Widely viewed as a sinecure, the attorney's...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2011 6:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

There are several reasons for why Melville gives the lawyer so much difficulty in knowing how to handle Bartleby, including not knowing how to fire him in "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2010 5:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

This isn't much which will be helpful for a research thesis, but it's clear that Bartleby "prefers not to" conform, which is clearly a form of rebellion. The big question, of course, is why he...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2010 11:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

I often think of Bartleby as a character to imitate when I am given yet more work by my superior, and wish I had the courage to adopt the same methods, though, to be honest, I think we can say that...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2011 9:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Oh my, there is ASTOUNDING significance in Bartleby's frequent quotation of "I would prefer not to" in that dear Bartleby is exemplifying the anti-Transcendentalist viewpoint of Melville. In this...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2015 1:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

"Bartleby the Scrivener" was written in 1853. C. G. Jung did not coin the terms "introversion" and "extraversion" until approximately 1921 in his book Psychological Types, in which he states: The...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2013 5:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

In "Bartleby", Melville practically hits readers over the head with the references to "walls." The story takes place on Wall Street. The office is surrounded by walls on all...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2008 12:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Carl Jung, famous psychiatrist and long-time associate of Sigmund Freud, coined the terms “introvert” and “extravert” which quickly became part of all modern languages. Possibly the best example of...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The narrator in Melville's tale does interact fully not only with Bartleby himself but with the other characters. He attempts to reason with Bartleby to discover the reason for the scrivener's...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2018 4:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The definition of "nip" is to pinch or to steal. Apparently, Nippers has a couple of pastimes that have to do with taking a pinch of something and possibly dealing with people who take a pinch of...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2010 3:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

I think it is pretty obvious what Bartleby wants, since he is such an obstinate character that he ends up getting what he wants. He wants to do exactly as he is doing. He is a loner, an introvert....

Latest answer posted July 4, 2012 4:35 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Bartleby is a conundrum to his employer. As a successful lawyer, he is used his employees doing their work without question. When Bartelby "prefers not to" proofread his work, the lawyer is...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2009 12:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Nippers and Turkey together form a kind of "clock" that marks the passage of the work day. Turkey is an older man who is an admirable worker in the morning, but, once dinner is done at 12, becomes...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2017 11:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The major characters of Melville's "Bartleby" are as follows: The narrator, described as "a rather elderly man" who holds the office of Master in Chancery and acts as a lawyer dealing in the...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2016 6:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Although he is the title character of Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener," the reader is given little background about Bartleby. He is hired to copy documents, but the most...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2009 3:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Though it may not seem like it at first glance, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is almost as much about work as is Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street."...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2014 3:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

I think this is subject to interpretation and it is impossible to know what “Melville believed.” But, within the context of the story itself, the lawyer does make multiple attempts to help Bartleby...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2010 10:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street" sheds light on working conditions in a post-industrial capitalist environment on at least three points. First, it points out that...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2010 4:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

In some of Herman Melville’s stories, the characters’ scars are explicit: In Melville’s Moby Dick, Captain Ahab’s scar is overt and obvious. The whale Ahab was hunting tore off his leg. In...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2020 4:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

I think that one distinct relationship between all three works is the way in which alienation is developed. The construction of alienation in each is one where the individual is divided between...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2014 12:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

The lawyer does try to help him. Instead of summarily firing Bartleby or throwing him out on the street when the odd behavior begins, he makes every effort to talk to Bartleby and get to the source...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2020 6:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

Herman Melville's story of a most passive Bartleby is, indeed, ambiguous, but the ambiguity is well designed. Is Bartleby another side of the narrator, "the other end of [his] chambers, or is he a...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2012 7:03 am UTC

2 educator answers

Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

I am not convinced by this approach. Non-violence as in the way it was utilised by Ghandi and Civil Rights protestors was a conscious assertion of power and might to protest. Bartleby just can't be...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2011 8:31 pm UTC

5 educator answers

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