Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Characters

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The title character of the story, Bartleby, is hired by the lawyer as a scrivener, whose job is to copy out legal documents by hand. Bartleby is described as neat, pale, and forlorn. Although Bartleby's demeanor suggests sadness or discontent, he never expresses any emotion in the story and is described by the lawyer as "mechanical" in his actions. The plot of the story revolves around Bartleby's enigmatic refusal to carry out his employer's orders. When asked to perform a task, Bartleby frequently responds, "I would prefer not to." This peculiarly passive form of resistance causes his employer much consternation. Eventually, Bartleby refuses to do anything at all and simply stares vacantly at the wall. Bartleby is finally carried off to prison, where he starves himself to death. The reason for Bartleby's disturbed state of mind is never revealed, although the lawyer believes it may have something to...

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This section contains 604 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
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