Influence Of Capitalism In Barttleby The Scrivener By Herman Melville

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Capitalism the economic and political structure in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state itself (Oxford English Dictionary, 2017). Capitalism is extremely present in the work “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” by Herman Melville. Capitalism is present in sense that the story takes place on Wall Street. The take away of Wall Street and capitalism is that hard work reaps benefits in the form of monetary and respect. In laymen terms wall street and capitalism is all about the effort that you put in will led to the result and you are in charge of the destiny based on skill and work productivity. Examining “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” the impact …show more content…
This comes as a complete shock to the lawyer since all of his other employees have not stood up to him and said anything regarding the work load. Also the lawyer is taken back since Bartleby was one of his best employees so this is the last person he would have thought to hear this from. The lawyer’s response to Bartleby bold statement was as follows, “he looked at him steadfastly. His face was leanly composed; his gray eyes dimly calm. Not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him. That there been the least uneasiness, anger, impatience or impertinence in his manner; in other words, had there been any thing ordinarily human about him, doubtless I should have violently dismissed him from the premises”. The quick response by Bartleby does allow him to stand up for himself against his authoritative boss, but in the process he loses his job and becomes completely worthless in the society since he is not being productive at all and making a contribution. Todd Davis explains in his article that the reasoning for such uncharacteristic behavior from Bartleby was that he was lost since his work was so meaningless he did not see much of a difference between having a job and not. The effect of his saying no causes him to lose his job yet he does not seem to care to leave. The lawyer makes a multitude of …show more content…
Bartleby was living in the office space and the lawyer noticed when he came in one weekend and Bartleby was there. The lawyer’s reaction to Bartleby living in the office space was “his poverty is great, but his solitude, how horrible!”. Not only did Bartleby live in the office but he was left in solitude. The layout of the office added to the magnitude of solitude that Bartleby faced. The office was on the second floor with windows that looked out to nothing but another walls outside. Bartleby was not only trapped inside of the office but he was trapped inside of the capitalist society. Everything that Bartleby stood up for lead him to have to live a life of misery in jail living out the consequences of his actions the rest of his life or make the decision to end his life. ““This view might have been considered rather tame than otherwise, deficient in what landscape painters call ‘life’”. The lawyer makes it clear that the office space is not a welcoming, pleasant environment. The walls that Bartleby are surrounded by symbolize capitalism and how those who are in control “trap” others and treat them like objects not human beings. The walls physically trap Bartleby inside the office but they also trap him inside of a system that has negative side

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