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In democratic ages men rarely sacrifice themselves for another but they show a general compassion for all the human race One never sees them inflict pointless suffering and they are glad to relieve the sorrows of others when they can do so without much trouble to themselves They are not disinterested but they are gentle - Alexis De Tocqueville wwwcybernationcom Compassion is an innate quality that is found within human nature and is expressed to those in the form of a helping hand to people who are financially and emotionally troubled However each individual may have a different limit towards the amount of compassion that one can show to another being In Herman Melvilles story Bartleby the Scrivener Melville is showing the reader that each individual does have a limit when it comes to expressing compassion towards other beings Melville also shows that this limit is different for each individual when he talks about how each of the characters interact with Bartleby The story of Bartleby the Scrivener begins with the narrator identifying himself as a man who is filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is best This very attitude towards life in general suggests that the narrator cannot be too compassionate towards other beings because showing compassion and providing support is hard work emotionally and physically To be compassionate one must be able to understand the inner workings of the unfortunate soul so that one can help fix the problem Thus the narrator does not have the experience or the spontaneity to help others because all who know him consider him to be an eminently safe man 2330 However one must note that as the story progresses the narrator does push his boundaries towards helping Bartleby but ultimately fails because he does not take the time to understand Bartleby There is no doubt that the narrator is a compassionate person because he puts up with the antics
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