Analysis Of Bartleby 's Bartleby The Scrivener, And The Novel, Mildred Pierce

784 Words Dec 11th, 2015 4 Pages
The interrelationship and conflict of work life and personal identity unites and transcends personal experiences of people in all professions. Adversity and discrimination is a universal experience amongst the working class as all jobs have cultural stigmas. In the short story, Bartleby the Scrivener, and the novel, Mildred Pierce, the connection between professional, socioeconomic, and personal identities is explored as varied parts of an individual in relation to the whole of society. In Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, Bartleby is a lifeless, “cadaverous” person who, with repetitive diction, is depicted similar to a ghost. In the story, Bartleby proves to be severely obstinate with his boss, the narrator, and only fulfills the tasks he wants to do, or rather “prefers” to do. This passive resistance, however, does not prevent him from being a productive worker. In fact, he voluntarily works long, uninterrupted hours without direction or order from his boss, leaving the narrator with little purpose. Bartleby shows that his drive to work is not for a monetary reward, but rather out of a personal need. Usually, work and identity mutually influence one another, but in this short story, work became his sole identity. Bartleby was revealed to have been a permanent occupant of the office, both physically and mentally, as he consumed the whole of the narrator’s thoughts and curiosities as to why he was this way. Upon hearing that Bartleby once worked in the Dead Letter…

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