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Developing unique characters through narration in bartleby the scrivener by herman melville and the

A Story of Wall Street. He knows what he wants and he has acquired it. The narrator was recently appointed a Master in Chancery, for which he completes little arduous work and yet is compensated pleasantly. He approaches life from a distinctly self-interested point of view, and yet this self-interest occasionally compels him to help others.

In contrast to his two copyists, who take turns flubbing their work according to the hour of the day, the narrator appears content and controlled. In short, the narrator appears to live a work life that many of us desire for ourselves. He is cool, collected, and well-paid.

  • The narrator reveals this internal conflict when he addresses the lawyer who moved into his old offices;
  • This can be compared to what happens to many of us when we come to law school, in that the hopes, dreams, aspirations that we come in with are stifled and left unfulfilled;
  • So Meagan, I guess I'm not entirely sure whether Bartleby catalyzed a metamorphosis in the narrator, but I am at least hopeful that Bartleby has the capacity to serve as a ghost of Christmas future, if the person he is haunting is able to recognize that he is being haunted;
  • Or could Bartleby simultaneously serve as the Ghost of Christmas Future for the admittedly less Scrooge-y narrator, and inspire change in the face of self-realization and human awakening?
  • Notes bartleby the scrivener was written by herman melville in 1853, a time of self-discovery for the author and the growing city in which his story takes place.

Of course, this depiction contrasts with the image of the lawyer that we have been presented with this semester: The narrator faces this unpleasant reality when his crafted appearance is betrayed by Bartleby's arrival. The narrator sees himself reflected in Bartleby, and this drives an obsession with him. No history is provided about Bartleby until near the end of the story. This yields a blank canvas or empty vessel for the narrator to project himself onto as he starts to identify with Bartleby.

The narrator's remark that he 'never feels so private as when he knows Bartleby is there' is palpable. The narrator cannot rid himself of Bartleby, even though everything in the preceding description suggests that he should. He alternates between lashing out at Bartleby and coddling him. This irrational behavior from a self-styled cool, collected man may point to seeing something in Bartleby that the narrator dislikes about himself.

The narrator's complacence to Bartleby's slow drop in work-ethic may be to criticize the routine and sterile world the lawyer lives in, doing "safe" but well-paid work on Wall Street. The narrator in the story has practiced for many years--he is in his early sixties--and is in a career for an 'eminently safe man. Bartleby continues to challenge the ease and logic in the narrator's life, yet the narrator fails to rid himself of Bartleby every time. When Bartleby originally fails to complete his work, the narrator rationalizes his decision not to fire him by reasoning between logic and altruism.

Thought I, he means no mischief…He is useful to me. I can get along with him. He again rationalizes this decision. The narrator comments on the loneliness of Wall Street on nights and weekends, and empathizes for the lonely Bartleby.

  • Bartleby eventually stops working completely, adds no value, scares clients away and eventually forces the narrator to move;
  • It's a lot easier for me to punish myself and berate myself for the past because when looking at something retrospectively I can see the structure of the whole picture;
  • This yields a blank canvas or empty vessel for the narrator to project himself onto as he starts to identify with Bartleby;
  • What I was trying to articulate above was that after one recognizes the presence of Bartleby as a haunting force in their "office", they should strive to use that recognition to transform and become cognitively whole rather than rationalizing it away;
  • It was hard for me to see this point, because I didn't want to see this point, because it's a deeper and harder problem to fix;
  • Bartleby's apathy, his 'preference' not to comply with any of the narrator's requests, strikingly illuminated for me the pseudo-urgency of Wall Street and left me with a distaste for the meaninglessness of it all.

When the narrator surrenders his office space to move to another location to "isolate him from sight" but not voice, the narrator is segregating the feelings inside him that Bartleby represents. The narrator reveals this internal conflict when he addresses the lawyer who moved into his old offices. The narrator pretends not to know Bartleby's name, and originally refuses to do anything about him.

However, once the narrator finds a way to rationalize the interaction by fearing his own exposure in the papershe immediately runs off in his attempt to convince Bartleby to quit the premises. This reading may have been assigned to drive this point: A lawyer brings justice to her clients by thinking about the work she's doing and the career she is embarking on, not by pawning a license in a "safe" workplace.

This is the tragic story about the trap of looking back after a career in law and wondering how you missed the opportunity to make the world a more just place.

Someday you or I may be the narrator, confronted with Bartleby, and not being able to admit to ourselves that a lifetime went by, and we missed it. AlexBuonocoreEbenMoglenHarryKhanna27 Mar 2012 I think developing empathy requires conscious practice and constant socialization. I always considered myself an empathetic person, and believed my parents taught me well how to place myself in somebody else's shoes before reaching a conclusion. This self-perception has been shattered during the first year of law school for three reasons 1 the stress of getting good grades as a 1L justified my abandonment of almost every aspect of my life other than studying 2 the isolation of the 1L experience further shielded me from the rest of the world and led me to believe this abandonment was ok and 3 reading about John Brown and Tharaud and listening to Professor Moglen's accounts of stories of injustice opened my eyes to how much I've been ignoring.

But Skylar, it does not follow: You may have dissociated your empathetic personae, or stopped responding to perceptual stimulation from mirror neurons. It wasn't pleasant to realize I was no longer the empathetic person I once considered myself to be, especially when I still have half a semester of law school, and a set of exams to get through. So I've been trying an experiment to help myself re-develop a sense of empathy.

The experiment involves behavioral psychology and consists of three steps: This technique requires self-reflection, consciousness, and figuring out a creative solution to change your mind. I think this technique could be applied to help us develop a sense for justice before our conscience dictates that we should.

We need to learn to recognize the physical manifestations of our reactions to injustice, remain alert to when those physical manifestations are occurring, and consciously make an effort to change them. This is a very interesting form of self-administered cognitive behavioral therapy. I think the report of your success in using it is both genuine and fascinating. But I'm not sure whether "forcing" yourself to think differently addresses the issues you want to address.

  1. If this is what the above comment means actually, regardless of whether this is what it means I agree. This reading may have been assigned to drive this point.
  2. Looking back on my own behavior I find that self-interest has been a powerful motivator in any "charitable" works or deeds I have done. Actually, I thought it was a deeper problem to fix.
  3. So I've been trying an experiment to help myself re-develop a sense of empathy. But I thought it prudent not to break the dismission at once" 18.

Perhaps it modifies your behavior at the expense of the harm done by "forcing," rather than assisting you to change in ways that will reduce the purpose of the resort to force. Addressing, for example, the belief that law school success is assisted by social isolation or is primarily a matter of "more studying" might be more effective in the medium term, and more helpful in adding to self-knowledge above the behavioral level.

My interpretation of the above comment is: I am putting a band-aid on a gaping wound and what I need to do instead is re-grow the missing cells where the wound now sits. I am attempting to re-learn empathy instead of fixing the underlying problem.

Developing unique characters through narration in bartleby the scrivener by herman melville and the

If this is what the above comment means actually, regardless of whether this is what it means I agree. It was hard for me to see this point, because I didn't want to see this point, because it's a deeper and harder problem to fix. Actually, I thought it was a deeper problem to fix. Now that I am very consciously thinking about it, maybe it's not so hard. I will re-focus the problem and change the method. If instead the underlying problem is my belief that social isolation and "more studying" is what I need to do well on the exam developing unique characters through narration in bartleby the scrivener by herman melville and the I need to figure out why I think that.

In attempting to answer this problem I will first engage in stream of consciousness, and then revist the problem later using Freud's concept of free association. Additionally it prevents me from hating myself later. In the near future I will be able to look back and console myself that I dedicated all my time to studying and therefore I won't be able to punish myself later.

But that's how I approached last semester and I am still punishing myself now. Why am I not learning from my mistake and why is my natural inclination to punish myself and berate myself.

Maybe it's not that my natural inclination is to punish myself, but rather, that I feel uncomfortable without structure.

It's a lot easier for me to punish myself and berate myself for the past because when looking at something retrospectively I can see the structure of the whole picture.

I can see my behavior, and the results it led to. I hate thinking about the present and take a passive approach to the present because I am unsure of the results my present actions are going to cause. So if my problem is feeling unstructured, and having no result, then maybe the solution is to consciously create the future result [of my present behavior] in the present. I need to convince myself of the result that will come of my actions, instead of changing my actions to produce a different result.

After having read Bartleby, I can see where Eben is coming from in calling it a ghost story. He is confined all day in an office, blissfully protected from knowledge of the trials of the outside world by a lack of view. But I have trouble discerning whether he has undergone a metamorphosis in the end of it all. What will the long-term effect of this disturbance will be? Does Bartleby merely represent the Ghost of Christmas Past - the people or clients that the narrator could have helped had he chosen to abandon the snugness of his Wall Street office to witness the reality of injustice and misery on the streets?

And if so, while it may be too late for the narrator to do justice for Bartleby, is it too late for him to change altogether? Or could Bartleby simultaneously serve as the Ghost of Christmas Future for the admittedly less Scrooge-y narrator, and inspire change in the face of self-realization and human awakening? I could not help but compare how the narrator finds ways to put himself in a position where he would "prefer not to. For a man that values procedure so much, the narrator allows his office to consist of two men who produce a combined one day's worth of work.

The narrator convinces himself that he would prefer not to fire the men and that "this was a good natural arrangement under the circumstances.

  1. I doubt much farther than a days work, not to mention a lifetime of serving justice. This seemed to have been a victory for her, but unfortunately it also seems like one of her few attempts to resist the system besides golf.
  2. But how far does this extend? Bartleby continues to challenge the ease and logic in the narrator's life, yet the narrator fails to rid himself of Bartleby every time.
  3. At one point Bartleby occupies the whole office and the narrator is locked out.
  4. Other lawyers and professionals perhaps representing the "super-ego" are disturbed by Barleby's presence; they are disturbed when confronted with the true desire of the narrator - somebody who prefers and chooses not to do work yet collects their money and ferrets it away in his desk. My first interpretation of Bartleby was that he represented the narrator's Freudian "id".

We see this behavior most often when it comes to the back-and-forth with Bartleby. The narrator works himself up with anger and frustration at Bartleby's lack of cooperation but convinces himself, for various reasons such as "he is useful to me" or "he means no mischief," that he would prefer not to fire him for a long time at least.

After seeing how non-confrontational he is with Turkey and Nippers, it is hard to take the narrator seriously when he states that "with any other man I should have flown outright into a dreadful passion. The narrator repeatedly finds a reason to prefer not to take any serious action towards ridding himself of Bartleby.

We see by the end that he would prefer not to lose Bartleby, the projection of himself, and tries to find ways to keep him around--as when he invites Bartleby to his home and when he visits the Tombs for the second time. While the narrator can be distinguished from Bartleby in many ways mostly because as readers we get access to the emotions running rampant in his mindthe two are also the same. Bartleby is representative of all humanity in some way.

Like others said, Bartleby also provides an inescapable representation of the downtrodden, especially when he is removed as a vagrant. The character in Something Split who discusses Bartleby is Ms. I think the thing is that the characters of Urquart, Jansen and Voorhees realize the system of corporate law in which they work is sometimes corrupt. They see Bartleby, but they sometimes might be able to ignore him. The narrator is Bartleby constantly fears guilt and tries to escape it by ignoring Bartleby only to realize he feels all the more remorseful after abandoning him.

Urquart sees the lawyers around her, and herself, following pools of money wherever they collect, and the way Joseph writes her contemplative character, she seems to feel guilty about it, or at least ashamed. But like we also mentioned in class, none of the attorneys in the Something Split chapter are strong enough like Robinson to be resolute and control their careers entirely.

Perhaps the moral of both stories is to search for inner resolution. But I also believe that Nippers and Turkey can be seen as projections of the narrator as well. I see the narrator as the type of lawyer that Eben would like us NOT to be.

Nippers, with his chronic indigestion and irritability, and Turkey, with his alcoholism, are two of the things Eben has hinted at regarding common traits among Biglaw associates. The dynamic of them taking turns just to get through one day of work is emblematic of the struggle that many young associates have just making it through the day doing work that they would prefer not to do, but have to do just to make it to the next bonus check.

They go between scarfing down the free seamlessweb food at their desks, to getting drunk at happy hour and firm events, all in an effort to reward themselves for the hours they have to put in.

The introduction of Bartleby to the office, especially when he begins his "I would prefer not to" phase, represents to me the moment that something clicks in the mind of an associate, and he finally realizes that he would really prefer not developing unique characters through narration in bartleby the scrivener by herman melville and the do ANY of this work that is constantly being thrust at him.