Did the narrator fail Bartleby, or does Bartleby fail himself?
"Bartleby, the Scrivener," is a short story where the moral takes an important place and
where we can ask ourselves many moral based questions, but where we have to get our own
interpretations as we can see in the text with "Here, this is the meaning.". These ambiguities can
lead to some unusual interpretations, especially around the ethics of the narrator. However it seems
obvious to most of us that he has decided to help Bartleby, in particular , when the narrator is
allowing him to refrain from certain duties, to refraining from all his duties, to letting him make his
office his lodgings, to offering him beyond what he owes Bartleby and securing him anotherposition
and even inviting Bartebly to live with him in the lawyer's house.
Moreover as we see in this extract, ''Having offered him assistance in obtaining another, job,
any jobin fact, and being rebuffed, he accepts the permanence of his bond and urges Bartleby to
come home with him, an offer which he must have known would become a permanent arrangement,
had Bartleby accepted. Rejected in this, the ultimate offer of charity he can make, the narrator
literally runs away in desperation and fear rom the terror of Bartleby's deathly impenetrability
(336).'' with all the support and the help given by the narrator he looks as if he was trapped.
Furthermore, instead of helping Bartleby, the narrator helped himself to feel better and has
probably saved himself. This is a kind of irony because when the narrator failed on Bartleby and
couldn't save him from his isolation, the narrator saved himself . This is one of the morals of this
story, when you try everything to save someone who is rejecting your help, you will get something
in return and the fight of the narrator for nothing finally saved himself.
To conclude to above, I can say that this is a story of contrast between Bartleby and the
narrator. The narrator tried everything possible to reach out to