Bartleby the Scrivener

What does the story (Bartleby) imply about society in the 1800s?

what does the imply about society in the 1800s?

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Bartleby the Scrivener" is one of the first great stories of corporate discontent. The description of the office is incredibly bleak, and the landscape of Wall Street is completely unnatural. The work environment is sterile and cheerless. Yet most adapt to it, with varying degrees of success. Though the narrator is a successful man, he is a victim, in some ways, of progress. He has lost the post he occupied during the central events of the story, as the position was deemed redundant and eliminated. We learn later that Bartleby may have lost a job due to similar bureaucratic change. The modern economy includes constant and unfeeling change, which comes at a cost.

Melville often describes the world through concise and telling descriptions of the environment. The character of the world of work and business is most often evoked through physical description of the landscape. In the final prison scene Melville's description of environment extends the scope of the story from the business world to the general human condition. Bartleby cannot pretend to have enthusiasm for this bleak world, and so he disengages from it, in stages, until he dies.