Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" Irony

Irony
: The Boss doesn't recognize that his own passiveness is as persistent and frustrating as Bartleby's. Or that his genteel, self-
interested interest in Bartleby is leading to no good.
Can you think of other ironies?


As stated above, one of the ironies in "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" is that the Boss does not recognize that his own passiveness is as persistent and frustrating as Bartleby's. Another one of the ironies of the short story that is stated above is that the Boss' civilized and self-intersted interest in Bartleby will eventually lead to something bad.  These are not the only ironies of the story, though.  One other form of irony in the story is the Boss' attitude towards Bartleby and his occupation.  At first, the Boss epitomized your typical New York City office boss by showing how he worked with rules and by showing that he supported the guidelines of ownership, which in other words means that he liked the idea of being in control and making sure everything in order.  By having everything in order, there were no conflicts.  This appealed to him because, as he said in the short story, he liked things the easy way.

As time went on, though, the Boss began losing these qualities and it is all because of his experiences with Bartleby.  Due to his sympathy for Bartleby, the Boss now looked at the job he worked at as a burden.  The Boss realized that he didn't approve of the fact that his scriveners would write about the affluence of the wealthy or that he came to dislike the fact that his scriveners were forced to copy documents that were made to protect the guidelines of ownership, which he had previously fully supported.  The Boss' changes were what basically made up the irony of this short story.

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