Printer Friendly

Bartleby the Scrivener.

Bartleby the Scrivener

(1853) A long short story by Herman Melville, originally published in Putnam's Monthly Magazine and later in The Piazza Tales. The narrator, who operates a law firm on Wall Street, employs a scrivener, Bartleby, whose job it is to copy and proofread legal documents. Eventually, Bartleby rejects these chores, stares blankly at an empty wall, and answers all entreaties with, " I should prefer not to." Unable to persuade Bartleby either to work or to leave, the narrator moves to a new office, and the scrivener is taken to prison. Refusing all the privileges his former employer's vague sense of responsibility has bought for him, he dies of starvation.

COPYRIGHT 1987 HarperCollins Publishers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1987
Previous Article:Barthelme, Donald.
Next Article:Bartlett, John.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters