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Word Count: 725
In his work Bartleby the Scrivener Herman Melville employs several themes The most apparent are the themes of alienation mans desire to avoid conflict mans desire to resist change and of the narrators response to Bartlebys actions and reactions The theme of alienation begins to show itself when the narrator describes the office arrangement that he made for Bartleby Bartleby is placed in the corner of the office his only view is of a wall outside of the window Still further to a satisfactory arrangement I procured a high green folding screen which might entirely isolate Barleby from my sight though not remove him from my voice Not only is the narrator separating Bartleby from his own sight he is also removing him from the other office workers and from the other office workers This caused discourse with all of the others in the office This is proven when Turkey exclaims I think Ill just step behind his screen and black his eyes for him The other scriveners also felt alienated by the actions of the narrator His lack of resolve when dealing with Bartleby angered them because they knew that if they would have taken the same actions they would have been dismissed much more rapidly The narrator admits to this when he said With any other man I should have flown outright into a dreadful passion scorned all further words and thrust him ignominiously from my presence The next theme is mans desire to avoid conflict The narrator avoids conflict on several occasions The first time Bartleby refused to proofread a paper the narrator simply had someone else do it instead of confronting him and resolving the issue right then By ignoring the problem he left the door open for more disobedience As expected Bartleby continued to refuse to proofread and the narrator eventually gave up on asking him to do it The narrator went to great lengths to avoid a
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