What does the the narrator mean by Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!
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The absurd plays a key role in Bartleby the Scrivener. Albert Camus once stated that Melville was his favorite author. Camus declared that Melville had a talent for absurd writing. Bartleby the Scrivener can be described as a commentary on the irreducible irrational in human existence. One example of Bartleby’s absurdity is his deliberate choice to face the blank wall. Instead of facing his desk out in the open, Bartleby chooses to face a blank wall. Bartleby’s catchphrase “I would prefer not to” is also absurd. Bartleby never refuses to do his work. Preferring not implies Bartleby does not see the point of his duties. He views the work as pointless or absurd. The final words written in Bartleby, “Ah Bartleby! Ah Humanity!” is also a comment on the absurdity of humanity. The narrator’s final statement is a lament to Bartleby’s absurd life. Bartleby’s job before working in the law office was in a dead letter office. Dead letters are a symbol for the absurd. Because the letters are deemed undeliverable, the letters are destroyed in order to protect any personal information contained in the letters. An undeliverable letter serves no purpose and therefore, is absurd.
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Bartlbey the Scrivener is a absurd story. Throughout the story Bartleby never faces his talble in the open area in office despite this he likes to face his table towards the wall, which is really absurd kind of thing. He does his work honestly and sometimes it seems he has a unpredictable nature too as sometimes he says his catchphrase "I would prefer not to". It sounds very absurd. Earlier, before joining the law office he was working at a dead letter office, which too is really absurd. A dead letter office is a place where all the dead letters have been collected and they burn them out so that no one other than the expected recipients can read it or open it as somethings are confidential. The final words of story of course nothing but a comment upon the absurdity of human kind.