SUBJECT AREA Arts entertainment
CREATED ON 21st March 2018

Essay about Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener

The extremely basic definition of civil disobedience provided by Webster's Dictionary is "nonviolent resistance to a law through refusal to comply with it, on grounds of conscience." Thoreau at "Civil Disobedience" and Martin Luther King in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" equally assert that laws thought of as unjust in the mind shouldn't be stuck to. At Herman Melville's "Bartleby," a man named Bartleby is thought of by many to become practicing civil disobedience. His activities have been nonviolent, and he won't comply with anything his boss states. However, his behavior has nothing to do with morals. Bartleby is a lonely man who does not Want to work and has nothing to do with civil disobedience. Thoreau states that if injustice "is of such a nature that it takes you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say break the law" (Jacobus 134). He is personally providing permission for an individual to ignore anything he or she finds morally unacceptable. But in "Bartleby," Bartleby's manager places no unjust laws and assigns no unjust work. He only asks Bartleby to do simple tasks such as, "when those papers are all copied, I will compare them with you", or, "simply step around the Post Office, will not you? And see whether there is something for me" (Melville 116). The manager, who's also the narrator, never asks Bartleby to perform any difficult chores. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s interpretation of the unfair law is, "a code that a numerical or authority m.. .

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