“Bartleby The Scrivener” by Herman Melville displays the

   “Bartleby The Scrivener” by Herman Melville displays the existing conflicts between the capitalistic values of Wallstreet and the values of Christianity that the narrator faces throughout the story. At the end of the story, he exclaims Ah Bartleby! Ah, Humanity! In an attempt to illustrate his sorrow and regrets at being unable to change the tragic outcome of Bartleby’s life.    As observed by the narrator, Bartleby begins as a diligent worker, copying without a break during the day and continuing to work for hours on end as a scrivener. “at first, Bartleby did an extraordinary quantity of writing. As if long famishing for something to copy, he seemed to gorge himself on my documents. There was no pause for digestion. He ran a day and night line, copying by sunlight and by candle-light. I should have been quite delighted with his application, had he been cheerfully industrious. But he wrote on silently, palely, mechanically (19-20). Although proving to be reliable, he declines to participate in any other work activities simply replying “I would prefer not to” each time he is asked (Melville 6).    Eventually, his progress as a scrivener would come to a complete halt. In addition to his change of preference of what he preferred not to do, Bartleby would prefer never write again. After some days when asked why he would not write by the lawyer, Bartleby turns to him and says “Do you not see the reason for yourself”(16). In that moment he reveals his dull and glazed eyes to the lawyer. The lawyer sees this as a cause for Bartleby’s work stoppage and suggests that he takes a break from writing until he feels better. This suggests that the lawyer does show sympathy to Bartleby. The narrator would become increasingly troubled when he encounters Bartleby. I view this as him attempting to reconcile between being a cutthroat businessman of Wall Street and sympathizing with Bartleby as a depressed human being in the time of need. He would choose to do both in regards to Bartleby’s situation, as the lawyer states ” my first emotions had been those of pure melancholy and sincere pity but just in proportion as the forlornness of Bartleby grew and grew to my imagination, did that same melancholy merge into fear, that pity into repulsion.” (13). In the article “Emptiness and plenitude in “Bartleby the Scrivener” and ‘The Crying of Lot 49″  critic James S. Hans says that “up to a certain point the thought or sight of misery enlists our best affections; but, in certain special cases, beyond that point it does not” (Hans). Hans makes a strong point in this statement, suggesting that Bartleby is a special case, requiring one’s affection to go beyond points of measure but that point it could not for the lawyer. To further note, the narrator seems to relate to Bartleby’s life as if he had once himself been in the same position as Bartleby. Finally, as the narrator could no longer encounter Bartleby without feeling pity he admits saying “The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy! For both, I and Bartleby were sons of Adam”(12). Clearly, this is in reference to the lawyer his now irresistible gloom for Bartleby can be seen as linkage between the two but also just as well be a sign of the lost control over Bartleby as Hans states  “the desire to exert control over the flow of life must be strong indeed, for he has clearly been willing to sacrifice his life and all its intense possibilities for the ability to moderate the unpleasure that is an inevitable part of existence” (Hans). Moreover, as the story continues its progression the narrator becomes more and more sympathetic to the idea of Bartleby. It is believed that the narrator knew more about Bartleby than expected. As rumored by the lawyer the only piece of background information provided on Bartleby was that he had been a worker in the dead letter section of the post office, where his duties would have been to review and destroy items that had been lost in the mail. Due to a change in administration Bartleby would be laid off, it is suggested that as a result of this misfortune of events it would cause Bartleby to completely remove himself from humanity. In the article “Doing justice to Bartleby” critic Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock suggest that

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