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Word Count: 805
Bartleby in Herman Melvilles short story Bartleby the Scrivener is a character who lives his life in utter isolation However it is obvious from the story that he does affect one persons life The narrator of the tale an aged lawyer is a caring figure though not unlike most employers keeps his distance and rationalizes each situation He transformation into a sympathetic and affected character results solely from his rather limited relationship with his employee Bartleby When Melville describes Bartleby he presents the man as a very innocuous unassuming figure In answer to my advertisement a motionless young man one morning stood upon my office threshold I can see that figure now pallidly neat pitiably respectable incredibly forlorn 117 From the beginning the narrator treats him no different from the rest of his staff he is courteous kind and treats the man with no disrespect It is however obvious the narrator is a primarily an employer He hires Bartleby and expects nothing more of him but to work hard Bartleby does not disappoint either He seemed to gorge himself on the narrators documents 118However there is something amiss in this situation The man is silent He just works isolating himself from the office and the outside world He almost immediately begins to respond to any request with the phrase I would prefer not to 118 At first the narrator is obviously surprised at this response yet also intrigued However he soon comes to dread those words as they are the only ones said by Bartleby For some reason though the narrator cannot let Bartleby leave Even after Bartleby refuses to work anymore he allows him to stay in the office doing nothing In doing this the narrator has successfully moved from distant employer to concerned human In plain fact he had now become a millstone to me not only useless as a necklace but afflictive to bear Yet I felt sorry for him 127 Although
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