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BARTLEBY THE NARRATORS UNBORN CHILD In Herman Melvilles Bartleby the Scrivener A Story of Wall Street a scrivener named Bartleby disrupts the narrators tranquil lifestyle by means of mere passiveness Bartleby leads a morbid existence and everything that he says or does is characteristically mild Although Bartleby has the raw characteristics of a human being his personality actions and conversations suggest that he never truly lives Examining Bartlebys unborn nature more closely the reader can infer the narrators feelings towards Bartleby and understand more cohesively the truth behind his existence Bartleby can barely be considered a living human being Bartleby does indeed hold a job wear clothes and have the other basic requirements to be considered an acceptable modern human being Bartleby also has the basic items to live on stored under his desk I found a blanket under the empty grate a blacking box and brush on a chair a tin basin with soap and a ragged towel in a newspaper a few crumbs of ginger-nuts and a morsel of cheese 12 However these raw characteristics do not mean that Bartleby lives in the true sense of the word In fact the story suggests that Bartleby does not truly live and that he has never lived throughout his entire life Bartlebys extremely mild nature personality and lifestyle all suggest that Bartleby never truly lives Bartleby does not have ideas and feelings that characterize any living being such as ambition love melancholy or joy Throughout the story Bartlebys lack of ambition goals or desires is evident in that he is morbidly inactive for most of the story and never goes out or does anything In fact Bartleby never leaves the office On a Sunday morning on the way to church the narrator decided to walk round to his chambers for awhile 14 and he encountered the utterly unsurmised appearance of Bartleby tenanting my law chambers of a Sunday morning 14 The description
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