Essay about Short Story and Bartleby

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Ashane Davis
Lovre P.1
Bartleby Essay
What’s Normal?

The director of the movie Bartleby made a lot of changes to make the movie more interesting to watch. The movie made the people that watched it think about how they can express their own free will and what is and isn’t normal or unusual. Bartleby displayed the power one has over their own actions and helped define the word normal.
Saying “I would prefer not to” is the way Bartleby expresses his free will and speech whether he wants to do something or not. Before he started to refuse to do work he was doing all of his work just fine until he began to get comfortable with the office and people in it. It seemed as if Bartleby only started to say no to doing work when he started getting more and more things to do. He only wanted to do one thing which was stack files. What one may not get is why Bartleby says “I would prefer not to” instead of just flat out no. Expressing ones preference does not mean one will not do it. However Bartleby is a rather peculiar character. Later in the movie Bartleby becomes stubborn. All he starts to do is stand and look at the vent (later we find there is a bird in it) maybe trying to find freedom and wondering where it went. Then later he comes to the conclusion that no matter what he does he will still be sad and lonely.
The office in which almost the whole movie takes place in is a strange work environment. It had rather large windows that didn’t open. This made Bartleby feel like he was being caged and he just sat and continuously starred the brick wall directly outside the window. Many times put his hands on the windows to try to reach the outside but was never successful. The movie starts with Bartleby by himself walking along a bridge over a high speed freeway and clinching on to the gate. This in a way describes the character of Bartleby he feels trapped and lonely. His estrangement is even shown in the awkward or weird type of music that is played throughout the movie. This definitely shows how Bartleby is seen as an outcast or weird. The director tries to make the boss the prime example of an average everyday working individual, but in both the story and movie it is very evident that the narrator has some of his own problems. It is shown that he is not all the way there when he doesn’t fire Bartleby. In the movie he and every other employee were weird in their own way which is why Bartleby wasn’t exactly an outcast. Because the boss is supposed to be a “normal guy”, Bartleby refusing to work changed his way of thinking and he started to pick up some of Bartleby’s strange habits. Bartleby began to wear on the people in the office and they too would