The Scrivener by Herman Melville

In: English and Literature

Submitted By magdalena36
Words 864
Pages 4
Maria Vasquez
English 282
Prof. Justine Fitzgerald
Final essay: Similar conflicts between Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville and The Bridegroom by Ha Jin.
In the first story Bartleby, the Scrivener, the narrator talks about this character –Bartlbey- which is hired to copy legal documents in an attorney’s office. At the beginning he works more, faster, and better than everybody else in the office, and the Boss is very happy with him; one day when the Boss asks him to review some of the work that has been done for his co-workers he “prefers not to” do it; he starts refusing to do anything but just to copy documents, at some point he even “prefers not to” review his own work.
After a while he “prefers not to” do anything at all, leaving the Boss in shock who does not know how to react or what to do. With this behavior he gets what he wants for long time, until clients and colleagues of the Boss start noticing that Bartleby does not do anything at all, but to stare at the wall.
Eventually, the pressure of society makes the boss to leave the office, rent an office somewhere else and leave Bartleby behind. Ultimately Bartleby is taken to prison but the Boss never abandons him, he visits him in prison, and even pays the “grub-man” so he can have a decent meal every day. The question is if he does it because he feels guilty, because somehow he thinks is his fault that he is incarcerated, or because he really cares about him?
In the story The Bridegroom the narrator is Old Cheng, he is the head of security of the factory where him and Beina work, he is the legal guardian of Beina, a girl described by him as “short, homely girl” and has the face of a “globefish,” not very kind words for a young girl but he promised her father before he died that he will take care of her.
Although Beina is not a pretty girl, she marries Baowen which is a very handsome guy…...

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