The Underlying Humanities Of Employer From The Melville’s Bartleby The Scrivener

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While researching the background of Melville’s literature, the scrivener: Bartleby, we can touch the pathos that the brutal and stressful working environment makes employees undergo profound loneliness and anxiety in wall street. Considered in the middle 19th century, wall street was regarded as a yearning shortcut to richness full of greedy speculators, even though there were many gullible people dedicated themselves to capital or marketing campaigns. Since capital never slumbers, capitalists are likely to tyrannize employee to pursue their maximize profit. In this case, it is reasonable to claim our main character, Bartleby, in the Scrivener, might suffer from deep depression, resulting from his rumination on the essence of humanity and perverseness for not compromising with capitalism. On top of that, His cadaverous-like characteristics might appeal to the fellow-felling of many other workers in wall street, representing the phenomena of alienation among people lurk in commercialism.

Based on the story of scriveners that happened in a chamber of the first-person narrator, a lawyer, the plots address a tremendous characters’ vivid psychological activity and characteristic analysis displayed by Melvine’s hilarious writing style. concerning each person’s eccentricity, it is plausible to conclude that the collaboration of each employee in this office contributes to an inclusive working environment and exhibit benevolence in their way. From , “The work of that concept, in no small part, is to produce a fiction of community, however large or small its scale, that rests on the constant aesthetic demonstration of the sameness at the core of the human: the sameness that makes us, in one fell swoop, comprehensible in our opacity and collectivize in our singularity”( Edelman 106). In other words, the lawyer tent to harness uncommon traits and peculiar dispositions of his clerks to generate the sameness, by counterbalancing each to form an efficient team. For example, Bartleby, despite his quiet and indifferent traits, he makes up his personality shortcoming by accomplishing an extraordinary amount of mechanical scrivener business in the beginning. In contract with Bartleby’s sedate singularity, Turkey and Nipper have quiet fights and fiery temper at times. By concluding “the irritability and consequent nervousness of Nippers were mainly observable in the morning, while in the afternoon he was comparatively mild. So that…I never have to do with their eccentricities at one time. Their fits relieved each other, like guards”(Melville 121), we can determine that lawyer is considerate and sophisticated due to his strategic allocation for his human capital, which is beneficial for him to hedge or minimize the risks of his business. Besides, Gingernut, who is also a temperate young man, responsible for procuring food and other trivial daily things. In short, the synergy among those workers constructs a rational working pattern, which is beneficial for augmenting the efficacy of the business.

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Apart from the utilitarian aspects of the lawyer, there are many other dark sides of humanity disclosed in this tale, which are a powerful explanation for Bartleby’s peaceful resistance for capitalism. Firstly, the story has provided us with the evidence that lawyer inclination to enslave the workers. According to the argument that “the lawyer is also blind to the fact the hierarchical distribution of labor in his office, which relegates the clerks to copying his documents and promptly performing this behests, is a social construct deriving from an economic system that invests employers with virtually unlimited power over their wage-dependent employees”( Kuebrich 393). For example, the lawyer “abruptly called Bartleby” with “haste and natural expectancy of instant compliance” because he thinks a small affair he had in hand is even more important than “any necessity had arisen for having his writing examined”. Therefore, when Bartleby continuing to cease doing and negotiating anything, he refused to figure out the hidden reason and assume its “violently unreasonable way” (Melville 125). Secondly, it is ridiculous for a lawyer to pry on others’ privacy. After the lawyer finds out the secret that Bartleby is homeless and sleeps in his office, which also evokes his unprecedented melancholy and sadness, he resolved to ask Bartley for his history out of “a prudential feeling” (Melville 134). If Bartleby refused to openly answer hid questions, he will give him twenty dollars for dismissal. In these circumstances, it is powerful to state that the lawyer is self-interest and stands for a dictatorship of capitalism since he only cares about healing his pity regardless of the inferior’s emotion and pain. Accordingly, his problematic and feudalistic mindset might bring up an invisible stressfulness for his office, giving rise to many psychological problems for his clerks.

In the rapid living pace in wall street, one might feel chiefly depressed feelings resulting from hierarchical social stratification, which get in the way to surpass their existing circumstances. it is vital for us to find a way to vent the pressure. For example, turkey . The jobs are so wearisome and boring. The symbolic function of a class in capitalism.)On the other hand, from the dungeon-liked environment inside the office and gray brick wall outside the windows, both lawyers and Bartleby are far away from pureness and beauties of the mother, which might suggest they both alienate themselves from others to some extent. Part of the Bartleby is a “psychological double” of the lawyer because “his insistence that he “prefers not to” conform reflects both his gentleness and the profundity of his rejection of impersonality masking itself as personal contact. As such, it appropriately represents a voice deep within the lawyer himself, a desire to give over his mode of life…Bartleby clings to the lawyer because he represents a continuing protest within the lawyer’s mind” (Marcus 367). In a nutshell, the reason why Bartleby is a psyche of the lawyer results from their identical aloofness and impersonality. The lawyer felt deeply mournful when he saw Bartleby died of starvation. The thing that prompted him to touch Bartleby and even yelling “Ah, Bartleby! Ah, the humanity!” is the high-involvement or pathos, derived from his despair and sadness for losing a brave self who abide the social conformity and not surrender to the commercialism’s enticement.

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The Underlying Humanities Of Employer From The Melville’s Bartleby The Scrivener. (2021, August 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from
“The Underlying Humanities Of Employer From The Melville’s Bartleby The Scrivener.” Edubirdie, 16 Aug. 2021,
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