close
test_template

The Impacts of Bartleby, The Scrivener on The Lawyer in Herman Melville’s Short Story

download print

About this sample

About this sample

close

Words: 670 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Words: 670|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Bartleby’s Affects on the Lawyer

In Herman Melville’s story story, “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, a lawyer tells the story of a strange scrivener that had once worked for him. The scrivener, Bartleby, is strange because of his refusal to do anything with the calm reply, “I would prefer not to”. After realizing that Bartleby was affecting him, the lawyer says, “I trembled to think that my contact with the scrivener had already and seriously affected me in a mental way. And what further and deeper aberration might it not yet produce?”. The lawyer is afraid that he, himself, might become more like Bartleby.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

The lawyer says, “I trembled to think that my contact with the scrivener had already affected me in a mental way” because he and his other scriveners, Turkey and Nippers, had started using the word “prefer”. After dismissing Nippers using the word prefer, the lawyer says “somehow as of late, I had got into the way of involuntarily using this word ‘prefer’ upon all sorts of not exactly suitable occasions” (para. 115). He was surprised when he sees that his other scriveners have also began using the word prefer when Turkey asked if Bartleby would “prefer to take a quart of good ale” and when Nippers asked the lawyer if he “would prefer to have a certain paper copied on blue paper or white” (para. 117-125). The lawyer then came to the conclusion that Bartleby had affected him and his other scriveners in a mental way because Bartleby had already “in some degree turned the tongues…of myself and clerks” (para. 125). Because Bartleby had already influenced the way he speaks, the lawyer is afraid that he might influence him further.

Bartleby had already affected the lawyer in a mental way because the lawyer had picked up Bartleby’s usage of the word “prefer”, but the lawyer is also afraid of “further and deeper aberrations” that his contact with Bartleby can produce within him. The lawyer’s character is already similar to Bartleby’s. When introducing himself, the lawyer says that he is “one of those unambitious lawyers” and that he believes that the easiest way of the life is the best” (para. 3). Similar to the lawyer, but to an extreme, Bartleby is also unambitious and prefers an easy way of life of preferring not to do anything but “[stare] at his window in his dead-wall revery (para. 126). In his introduction of himself, the lawyer also says that he “belong to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to evade my peace” (para. 3). This trait of the lawyer’s is extremely similar to that of Bartleby’s. Bartleby have always remained calm and free of emotion in every situation, even when others showed extreme frustration at him. For example, the first time Bartleby “preferred not to” help the lawyer compare copies, the lawyer was stunned. The lawyer “rising in high excitement and crossing the room with a stride”, repeated his request but Bartleby again replied “I would prefer not to” with his “face leanly composed, his gray eye dimly calm, [and] not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him” (para. 25). Although the lawyer and Bartleby are already alike, the “aberration” that the lawyer is afraid of is that Bartleby might influence him and increase his already unambitious nature. The lawyer would then become more like Bartleby and therefore an aberration because he would not be seen as normal.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

In Herman Melville’s short story, “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, the lawyer says, “I trembled to think that my contact with the scrivener had already and seriously affected me in a mental way. And what further and deeper aberration might it not yet produce?”. The lawyer realizes that Bartleby had already affected him in a mental way because he had began using the word “prefer” involuntarily and because of that, he is afraid that Bartleby might further affect him and amplify his unambitious nature and that he will become more like Bartleby.

Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

The Impacts Of Bartleby, The Scrivener On The Lawyer In Herman Melville’s Short Story. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impacts-of-bartleby-the-scrivener-on-the-lawyer-in-herman-melvilles-short-story/
“The Impacts Of Bartleby, The Scrivener On The Lawyer In Herman Melville’s Short Story.” GradesFixer, 05 Nov. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impacts-of-bartleby-the-scrivener-on-the-lawyer-in-herman-melvilles-short-story/
The Impacts Of Bartleby, The Scrivener On The Lawyer In Herman Melville’s Short Story. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impacts-of-bartleby-the-scrivener-on-the-lawyer-in-herman-melvilles-short-story/> [Accessed 19 Apr. 2024].
The Impacts Of Bartleby, The Scrivener On The Lawyer In Herman Melville’s Short Story [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 05 [cited 2024 Apr 19]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impacts-of-bartleby-the-scrivener-on-the-lawyer-in-herman-melvilles-short-story/
copy
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled

close

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

    close

    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

    close

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

    close

    Thanks!

    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

    clock-banner-side

    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    exit-popup-close
    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now