Bartleby, the scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street

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"Bartleby, the Scrivener" was written by Herman Melville in 1853, two years after Moby Dick had been published and his writing career was beginning to lose its luster. Subtitled, "A Story of Wall Street", the book is a seemingly simple story about a lawyer who hires a gentleman named Bartleby as a scrivener in his office. In those long-ago days before copy machines, scriveners had the tedious job of hand-copying documents, sometimes over and over. Bartleby was good at the copying part of his job, but when asked to proofread aloud one day he simply replied, "I prefer not to." From that moment forward, he used the phrase "I prefer not to" for every task requested of him, eventually "preferring not to" do any work whatsoever. The lawyer, who is astounded by Bartleby's attitude, tells the story in the first person. The story is rich in language and yet spare in actual action. The reader is forced to think, and think seriously about the choices we make daily. Bartleby chose to rebel and become an anti-hero. But the real protagonist of the story is the lawyer, who is drawn into Bartleby's power and grows to admire him. The conclusion is sad, but inevitable. The story of Bartleby is simply about a man losing his will to live. It is intended to show the reader a dark side in all of us when the meaning of our existence is allowed to be challenged. The chilling image of Bartleby in his previous job at the Dead Letter Office, and the fact that Melville left Bartleby's reason for being (or not being) a mystery, all adds to the intrigue of "Bartleby, the Scrivener." First published anonymously Putnam's Monthly Magazine, "Bartleby, the Scrivener" reflects Melville's own pessimism at the time.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 8b195c54-8237-c23e-7296-6bc37c00b23d
Grouping Title bartleby the scrivener a story of wall street
Grouping Author melville herman
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-19 03:54:48AM
Last Indexed 2018-10-19 04:24:06AM

Solr Details

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author Herman Melville
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display_description In Manhattan, an elderly lawyer's business is growing. Having two scriveners in his employ, the lawyer advertises for a third to meet demand. Enter Bartleby, a glum albeit quality scrivener. However, the lawyer quickly discovers that something is off with his new employee. When asked to perform any duties outside of copying, Bartleby responds with a canned I would prefer not to. Soon Bartleby is living at the office and performing less and less at work. Finally fed up with his strange new scrivener, the lawyer asks Bartleby to leave, only to find himself on the receiving end of yet another I would prefer not to.
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subject_facet Copyists -- Fiction, Electronic books, New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction, Wall Street (New York, N.Y.) -- Fiction, Young men -- Fiction
title_display Bartleby, the scrivener : a story of Wall Street
title_full Bartleby, the Scrivener : A Story of Wall-Street Melville, Herman., Bartleby, the Scrivener A Story of Wall Street, Bartleby, the Scrivener A Story of Wall-Street, Bartleby, the scrivener : [a story of Wall Street] [electronic resource] Melville, Herman, 1819-1891., Bartleby, the scrivener : a story of Wall Street / by Herman Melville
title_short Bartleby, the scrivener :
title_sub A Story of Wall-Street
topic_facet Classic Literature, Copyists, Electronic books, Fiction, Humor (Fiction), Literature, Short Stories, Young men
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ISBN:
9781451502763
9781497659704
9781620119495
9781520084350