"Bartleby the Scrivener" is one of the first great stories of corporate discontent. The emptiness of modern business life is an important theme. The narrator's initial self-characterization is important to the story. He is a "safe" man, one who takes few risks and tries above all to conform. The most pragmatic concerns of financial security and ease of life are his priorities.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Bartleby the Scrivener
Herman Melville brings to life a time in offices before computers and copying machines - when copying was done by clerks or scriveners. Such is Bartleby until the time arrives when Bartleby would "prefer not." The narrator's efforts to persuade Bartleby to prefer to do some work in the office to earn his salary earn our sympathy and our admiration for the narrator's tolerance, but Bartleby's quiet and passive resistance is stronger than entreaties of rationality or force and we see a strange bond develop between them. This is a tale that the reader will remember and the phrase "I would prefer not" may become a part of the reader's vocabulary.
Bartley the scrivener
Ah humanity! What a fun little read. It fairly burbles along.
I want to read MPR of Herman Melville’s books
I started read this do do need read more and boredom with the long Count of Monte Cristo. I became obsessed and could not stop until I finish reading it.
It is a great simple short story. Yet Melville’s description of the characters makes a come to real life.