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Individual Freedom in Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener Essay

Project id 1004039
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 1118
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Individual Freedom in Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener What motivates one to go to work everyday? What motivates one to dress the way that you do? What inspires you to be reasonable when it comes to regular requests? Ah, the ultimate question needing an answer: Who decides what is reasonable and ordinary, and if we not determine these matters for ourselves? Chaos would end, you say, if each individual were allowed that freedom. Yet, all of us do have that freedom, and Herman Melville (1819-1891) through the interpretation of a guy who prefers to follow his own path in "Bartleby, the Scrivener", subjectively conveys the psychological anguish he underwent as a writer and man when the literary world attempted to steal that freedom. Dear Bartleby was a benign man with a demeanor that was effective at disarming several. From the beginning of Melville's narrative, it becomes rather apparent that Bartleby is a man who prefers not to do what society fantasies of him. He prefers not to honor any petition from his employer which would make him deviate from what he prefers to be doing. Bartleby's employer immediately realized that, "there was something about Bartleby that not only strangely disarmed me, but in a wonderful manner touched and disconcerted me" (2236). Bartleby gave no argument nor attempted to warrant denying his employers ask. He would simply say, I'd prefer to not. His only motive was to perform as he preferred. Bartleby's employer discovered this expression of freedom very odd. Where did this man come from who has the audacity to break the routine of normalcy that most of us follow? He who will not "comply with my own request-a petition made based on common usage and common sense...(2337). However, what was "common" for many others wasn't comm...

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