Bartleby the Scrivener

Bartleby the Scrivener was authored by an American Herman Melville as a novella of Wall Street story. He describes conformity and rebellion as two incompatible elements that have been of interest to humanity since the genesis of civilization. Social norms are the conformity blocks set to guide humanity to the agreed and acceptable societal behaviors favorable to all for human survival. Social norms present a specific behavioral system that engulfs human beings consequently resulting to rebellion and non – conformity of the set social norms. Human beings experience an egocentric force inherent within which drives them to break and free from the trapped system of social norms conformity while the superego character tries to balance the egocentric desires to a reasonable level and the accepted threshold in order to remain in the society and its acceptable system of behaviors. Due to these two opposite forces, people always fights a constant battle within themselves involving conformity to the system   versus rebellion of the same system formed from the set social norms (GradeSaver par 3).

The story of Bartleby the Scrivener, humanity is described exclusively as a constant futile struggle that exists between conformity and rebellion. Therefore consistent efforts have been explored and sort to identify the ways and means through which the struggle between conformity and rebellion may be minimized. The situation worsens leading to boycott of both food sleeping which are fundamental pillars of biological human systems which must at all times be observed. The uncooperative nature of mankind of rebellion inherent in the conformity requirement sends Bartleby to the tombs due to his refusal of conformity. The tomb as presented in the story is a symbolic interpretation of death which the narrator presents as a description of interior jail representation reinforced as the inevitable and indestructible power contained in death portrayed by the chilling images (GradeSaver par 5).

The story presents conformity and rebellion concepts in images of death and entrapment, while at the same time, Bartleby lives to battle with the entrapment scenario for his life to be fulfilled and consequently opts death to solve the situation. Bartleby the Scrivener uses this story to explain fundamental concepts inherent in the concept of rebellion highlighting its major components of benefits, risks, drawbacks and rewards which are dictated by either place, circumstances or time. The narrator of the story records how Bartleby continues with rebellion until he does no more work at all. However, the Bartleby’s presence in office as narrator notices worries his employers business partners since he ceased to work, therefore his presence in the office is no longer required. Therefore, the narrator’s effort to get Bartleby leave office becomes futile. When Bartleby was taken to prison, he refused to eat and died.

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