September 26, 2005
Bartleby the Scrivener
"In truth they were nicknames, mutually conferred upon each other by my three clerks, and were deemed expressive of their respective persons or characters."
I found this story to show some syllabication with the names once again (like Chillingworth and Pearl in "The Scarlet Letter"). I think its obvious how Melville holds himself at a much higher level of prestigiousness by not even calling his employees by their names. It says "Nippers, Turkey and Ginger Nut" seem to have agreed upon it, but I'm sure they were just making him happy. I think its funnny how the names don't really fit the workers at all. Bartleby seems to give the narrator an awakening by not listening to his orders, unlike the others.
Posted by AshleyHoltzer at September 26, 2005 07:48 AM
Speaking of names, did you notice the narrator is unnamed? I like to have names in connection with my characters yet Melville never named him. Since everything a writer does is on purpose, I doubt it was just an oversight on his part. Perhaps he could not think of a suitable name that would encompass his character. Or maybe the name of the narrator isn't really important at all. Bartleby is the star of the show and the narrator is just merely filling in. So, since he lacks a name, does he lack an importance as well?
Posted by: Nessa at September 26, 2005 02:43 PM
Vanessa- yes I did notice the narrator didn't have a name. He was in charge of the place, but didn't find it very important to give himself a name to recognize that importance. Maybe its because a lot of lawyers work is confidential and Melville was trying to communicate that feeling. I don't think he lacks importance, just the focus is on his employees.
Posted by: AshleyHoltzer at September 26, 2005 03:02 PM
yes the nicknames were definatly degrading the employees. This boss thought himself so highly that he assessed his employees and told us thier weaknesses. Although, the lawyer also seems sympathetic to his workers. It was very noticable to me that the lawyer didn't have a name. Maybe this is because lawyers think so highly about themselves and have their names everywhere that the author wanted to show us a non-stereotypical lawyer.
Posted by: michelle koss at September 26, 2005 05:37 PM
I was really wondering what the basis for the names of the characters was realted too. It was as though he was not giving them real names because he wanted them to be remembered by some other way.
Posted by: Stacy at September 28, 2005 08:19 PM