Bartleby the scrivener essay

The lawyer pleads with Bartleby to work or leave, but the obstinate scrivener continues to pursue his preference not to do anything. Growing increasingly distraught over these circumstances, the lawyer finally moves his chambers to another building. When Bartleby is expelled from the office by the new tenant, he remains in the building. The lawyer makes final pleas, even offering to take Bartleby home with him. Still, the scrivener prefers not to make any change, and the narrator flees the city in his frustration. On his return, he learns that Bartleby has been taken to the Tombs, the forbiddingly named city prison, as a vagrant.

In the Preface to Omoo , Melville claimed to have written "from simple recollection" strengthened by his retelling the story many times before family and friends. Yet a scholar working in the late 1930s discovered that Melville had not simply relied on his memory and went on to reveal a wealth of sources. [1] Later, Melville scholar Harrison Hayford made a detailed study of these sources and, in the introduction to a 1969 edition of Omoo , summed up the author's practice: "He had altered facts and dates, elaborated events, assimilated foreign materials, invented episodes, and dramatized the printed experiences of others as his own. He had not plagiarized, merely, for he had always rewritten and nearly always improved the passages he appropriated." Hayford showed that this was a repetition of a process previously used in Typee , "first writing out the narrative based on his recollections and invention, then using source books to pad out the chapters he had already written and to supply the stuff of new chapters that he inserted at various points in the manuscript." [2]

Bartleby the scrivener essay

bartleby the scrivener essay

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