Mind Map of Bartleby the Scrivener

Bartleby the Scrivener
overview
Symbols
Themes
A Wall Street lawyer hires a new clerk, but after just three days Bartleby begins to politely decline requests. Soon he is doing no work at all but also refuses to leave the office. This enigmatic story of Bartleby, his boss, and his coworkers can be read as a critique of Wall Street and the workplace that—rather than fading away like its protagonist—is reflected in modern-day depictions of office characters and life.
Turkey
The Office Drunk Old clerk; drinks at lunch and shirks his afternoon duties
Lawyer
The Bumbling Boss Well-intentioned but narcissistic owner of the law practice
Nippers
The Entitled Millennial Young clerk; ambitious and self-important
Bartleby
The Loner Eccentric employee; stops working and occupies the office indefinitely
Ginger Nut
The Intern Errand boy and carman's son; hoping to do better in life
Dead Letters
Symbolize mortality and hopelessness
Walls
Embody the isolation Bartleby faces in his office and, eventually, prison
Responsibility
The lawyer debates his responsibility toward Bartleby when he is no longer useful.
Isolation
Isolation
Bartleby slowly cuts himself off from everything, eventually even food.
Passivity
Bartleby quietly refuses to comply with requests, and his boss responds passively.
Numbering
14
Times Bartleby says, "I would prefer not to"
$85
Amount Melville was paid by Putnam's Magazine, which published "Bartleby" anonymously in two installments
5
Months before his death that Melville finished his final novel, Billy Budd
Author
HERMAN MELVILLE 1819-91
The author of the epic novel Moby-Dick, Melville is regarded as one of the greatest American writers. He wrote "Bartleby the Scrivener" amid a storm of criticism from the literary world, and its themes of capitalism, absurdity, and protest have long intrigued readers.
13