The Wickedness Of Man In Bartleby The Scrivener By Herman Melville

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The Wickedness of Man Even the most innocent acts can irritate a person’s mental wellbeing. The sinister side of man can be revealed if pushed too far. In “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville, Melville displays the dark side of man through the narrator as Bartleby slowly drives him crazy. Bartleby’s ordinary and passive personality in the office catches the narrator off guard. He has a hard time communicating with Bartleby’s submissive behavior, which makes it difficult for everyone to understand his reasoning behind the way he acts. The subtle agitations that Bartleby inflicts upon the narrator reveal the dark mentality of the narrator through his personal thoughts. Bartleby’s ordinary personality brings a contrast to the other workers, …show more content…
The narrator understands that Bartleby is different than his other employees, but he does not understand Bartleby’s reasoning as to why he is the way he is. Bartleby simply rejects the narrator’s directions for his work by saying he “would prefer not to” (14). That simple line is the majority of what Bartleby says, which angers the narrator because he gives no further reasoning. His excessive passiveness is bothersome to the narrator because Bartleby does not give a straight answer to his boss. The narrator’s dark feelings begin to formulate his dark thoughts from Bartleby’s difficult behavior. The narrator also gets angered because “the passiveness of Bartleby sometimes irritated [him]” (17). His reasoning for being angry shows the dark side of his thoughts because he usually does not become angry, or so he claims, yet Bartleby’s unclear responses are critically taking a toll to the narrator’s mental emotions. As the narrator continues to over think Bartleby’s passiveness, he finds himself “suffering much from perplexity and distress of mind” (18). The narrator’s interest in Bartleby’s behavior causes confusion within him. He is able to decipher the reasons behind his other workers quirky personality, but does not understand Bartleby’s extreme passiveness. His over occupied mind is detrimental to his mental thoughts because it causes the narrator to think of the worst scenario possible in any …show more content…
Since Bartleby has a complex mind, the narrator must think of a complex way to have him leave. The narrator realizes the only way to get rid of him is to kill him since no other way would work. He recognizes that “men have committed murder for jealousy’s sake, and ager’s sake, and hatred’s sake, and selfishness’s sake, and spiritual pride’s sake; but no man that [he has] heard of ever committed a diabolical murder for sweet charity’s sake” (33). The narrator understands that men can commit murder for numerous reasons, however his motive is unheard of. His plan to kill Bartleby instead of finding another method reveals the dark side of the narrator’s thoughts because Bartleby’s simple actions have gotten into the narrators head and he cannot take it anymore. He reasons with himself that murder is too heavy of a task and “rather would [he] let him live and die here, and then mason up his remains in the wall” (35). Although the narrator no longer wants to directly kill him, his new thoughts of having him stay at the office until he dies still display his dark thoughts caused by Bartleby’s agitations. At the end of his contemplation, the narrator feels guilty for his dark thoughts. He tells himself that he “will not thrust such a helpless creature out of your door” (35). The narrator feels bad that he has such horrific thoughts about Bartleby and feels sorry because he

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