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Bartleby The Scrivener by Herman Melville

            The story of Bartleby presents the themes of losing hope and isolation. Isolation cuts us from being functional and productive in our daily lives. It alienates us from the rest of the society and we end up erecting walls which end up becoming our prisons in life. Bartleby withdrawals to himself and becomes salt that has lost its savor (Mathew 5:13). .
             Bartleby is hired by the lawyer so as to meet the demands in his office where the workload was getting too much for Nippers and Turkey. At first, he produces a huge workload which impresses the lawyer. However on the third day, things take a turn and when Bartleby is asked by the lawyer to help examine a small paper. He responds to the lawyer stating "I would prefer not to" (10). The lawyer unable to comprehend the response decides to repeat his request again but Bartleby refuses to work. Physically, Bartleby seemed polite and calm. The lawyer overcome with charity thinks Bartleby will comply with the orders and continue to be productive in his work as scribe which turns out not to be the case. "To befriend Bartleby; to humor his in his strange willfulness, will cost me little or nothing, while I lay up in my soul what will prove a sweet morsel for my conscience" (13&14;).
             After a few weeks he refuses to do any work at all. He mopes about the lawyer's office day and night. Bartleby is "pallid" (9) and passionless. Unlike Turkey, neither food nor drink inflames his appetites. Unlike Nippers, Bartleby is not ambitious. He has no home, no spouse, and no children. He never leaves the office even to go buy his own food. Though good in his skills as a scrivener he opts remain 'free' from work and ends staring life through the lateral window in the office. He ceases to become a participant of bringing change in both his life and the world that he lives. He loses his power to 'create' through refusal to work.

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