compare/contrast essay

Your essay should be 3-5 pages long, with a clear thesis statement, and a works cited page.GuidelinesFollow MLA style guidelines from your first paperYou may choose to compare/contrast from the following promptsBartleby and MarxCapitalism vs. CommunismCapitalism vs. SocialismWork life vs. Home lifeInclude at least three sources. For Bartleby and Marx, they count as two, you will need to find one external source.Include a Works Cited Pagethe thesis is“Marx theory of alienation drives from the economic capitalist system of private
ownership, Bartleby can be used as an example of the alienation that is experienced by
workers who also have to develop in similar environments. ” here is the suggest from my teacher”Great! But this can be two sentences.” please help me to improve is the pdf of the Bartleby and Marx, and some home work that I did before, I want it will help you.


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This will serve as the first reading packet for Unit 2. I’ve copied the first 12 pages of Bartleby for
you. At the end is a series of question I would like you to answer in your reading response.
Remember to take your time reading this, and follow the critical reading strategy we outlined at
the beginning of class:
Before you read
Scan the piece to get an idea of what it is about and what the main
argument is. This may include reading an introduction if there is one, or
the subheadings.
While you read
Keep a running dialogue with the author through annotation by
recording your thoughts, ideas, and questions. Underline, highlight, or
circle important parts and points, and write comments in the margins.
After you have read
Look over your annotations to get an overall idea of the text. You may
also choose to write a summary to solidify your understanding.
Responding to the text
After you have developed a clear sense of the author’s argument and
line of reasoning, you are able to analyze the author’s argument and
methods. Then, you can develop your own ideas—perhaps into an
essay of your own.
Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story Of Wall-street
Herman Melville from The Piazza Tales 1856
I am a rather elderly man. The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me
into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set
of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists
or scriveners. I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased,
could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental
souls might weep. But I waive the biographies of all other scriveners for a few passages in the
life of Bartleby, who was a scrivener of the strangest I ever saw or heard of. While of other lawcopyists I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe
that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It is an irreparable loss to
literature. Bartleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the
original sources, and in his case those are very small. What my own astonished eyes saw of
Bartleby, that is all I know of him, except, indeed, one vague report which will appear in the
Ere introducing the scrivener, as he first appeared to me, it is fit I make some mention of myself,
my employées, my business, my chambers, and general surroundings; because some such
description is indispensable to an adequate under- standing of the chief character about to be
Imprimis: I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction
that the easiest way of life is the best. Hence, though I belong to a profession proverbially
energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered
to invade my peace. I am one of those unambitious lawyers who never addresses a jury, or in any
way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquility of a snug retreat, do a snug business
among rich men’s bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. All who know me, consider me an
eminently safe man. The late John Jacob Astor, a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm, had
no hesitation in pronouncing my first grand point to be prudence; my next, method. I do not
speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the
late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular
sound to it, and rings like unto bullion. I will freely add, that I was not insensible to the late John
Jacob Astor’s good opinion.
Some time prior to the period at which this little history begins, my avocations had been largely
increased. The good old office, now extinct in the State of New York, of a Master in Chancery,
had been conferred upon me. It was not a very arduous office, but very pleasantly remunerative.
I seldom lose my temper; much more seldom indulge in dangerous indignation at wrongs and
outrages; but I must be permitted to be rash here and declare, that I consider the sudden and
violent abrogation of the office of Master in Chancery, by the new Constitution, as a—premature
act; inasmuch as I had counted upon a life-lease of the profits, whereas I only received those of a
few short years. But this is by the way.
My chambers were up stairs at No. – Wall-street. At one end they looked upon the white wall of
the interior of a spacious sky-light shaft, penetrating the building from top to bottom. This view
might have been considered rather tame than otherwise, deficient in what landscape painters call
“life.” But if so, the view from the other end of my chambers offered, at least, a contrast, if
nothing more. In that direction my windows commanded an unobstructed view of a lofty brick
wall, black by age and everlasting shade; which wall required no spy-glass to bring out its
lurking beauties, but for the benefit of all near-sighted spectators, was pushed up to within ten
feet of my window panes. Owing to the great height of the surrounding buildings, and my
chambers being on the second floor, the interval between this wall and mine not a little
resembled a huge square cistern.
At the period just preceding the advent of Bartleby, I had two persons as copyists in my
employment, and a promising lad as an office-boy. First, Turkey; second, Nippers; third, Ginger
Nut. These may seem names, the like of which are not usually found in the Directory. In truth
they were nicknames, mutually conferred upon each other by my three clerks, and were deemed
expressive of their respective persons or characters. Turkey was a short, pursy Englishman of
about my own age, that is, somewhere not far from sixty. In the morning, one might say, his face
was of a fine florid hue, but after twelve o’clock, meridian—his dinner hour—it blazed like a
grate full of Christmas coals; and continued blazing— but, as it were, with a gradual wane—till 6
o’clock, p.m. or thereabouts, after which I saw no more of the proprietor of the face, which
gaining its meridian with the sun, seemed to set with it, to rise, culminate, and decline the
following day, with the like regularity and undiminished glory. There are many singular
coincidences I have known in the course of my life, not the least among which was the fact, that
exactly when Turkey displayed his fullest beams from his red and radiant countenance, just then,
too, at that critical moment, began the daily period when I considered his business capacities as
seriously disturbed for the remainder of the twenty-four hours. Not that he was absolutely idle, or
averse to business then; far from it. The difficulty was, he was apt to be altogether too energetic.
There was a strange, inflamed, flurried, flighty recklessness of activity about him. He would be
incautious in dipping his pen into his inkstand. All his blots upon my documents, were dropped
there after twelve o’clock, meridian. Indeed, not only would he be reckless and sadly given to
making blots in the afternoon, but some days he went further, and was rather noisy. At such
times, too, his face flamed with augmented blazonry, as if cannel coal had been heaped on
anthracite. He made an unpleasant racket with his chair; spilled his sand-box; in mending his
pens, impatiently split them all to pieces, and threw them on the floor in a sudden passion; stood
up and leaned over his table, boxing his papers about in a most indecorous manner, very sad to
behold in an elderly man like him. Nevertheless, as he was in many ways a most valuable person
to me, and all the time before twelve o’clock, meridian, was the quickest, steadiest creature too,
accomplishing a great deal of work in a style not easy to be matched—for these reasons, I was
willing to overlook his eccentricities, though indeed, occasionally, I remonstrated with him. I did
this very gently, however, because, though the civilest, nay, the blandest and most reverential of
men in the morning, yet in the afternoon he was disposed, upon provocation, to be slightly rash
with his tongue, in fact, insolent. Now, valuing his morning services as I did, and resolved not to
lose them; yet, at the same time made uncomfortable by his inflamed ways after twelve o’clock;
and being a man of peace, unwilling by my admonitions to call forth unseemly retorts from him;
I took upon me, one Saturday noon (he was always worse on Saturdays), to hint to him, very
kindly, that perhaps now that he was growing old, it might be well to abridge his labors; in short,
he need not come to my chambers after twelve o’clock, but, dinner over, had best go home to his
lodgings and rest himself till teatime. But no; he insisted upon his afternoon devotions. His
countenance became intolerably fervid, as he oratorically assured me—gesticulating with a long
ruler at the other end of the room—that if his services in the morning were useful, how
indispensable, then, in the afternoon?
“With submission, sir,” said Turkey on this occasion, “I consider myself your right-hand man. In
the morning I but marshal and deploy my columns; but in the afternoon I put myself at their
head, and gallantly charge the foe, thus!”—and he made a violent thrust with the ruler.
“But the blots, Turkey,” intimated I.
“True,—but, with submission, sir, behold these hairs! I am getting old. Surely, sir, a blot or two
of a warm afternoon is not to be severely urged against gray hairs. Old age—even if it blot the
page—is honorable. With submission, sir, we both are getting old.”
This appeal to my fellow-feeling was hardly to be resisted. At all events, I saw that go he would
not. So I made up my mind to let him stay, resolving, nevertheless, to see to it, that during the
afternoon he had to do with my less important papers.
Nippers, the second on my list, was a whiskered, sallow, and, upon the whole, rather piraticallooking young man of about five and twenty. I always deemed him the victim of two evil
powers—ambition and indigestion. The ambition was evinced by a certain impatience of the
duties of a mere copyist, an unwarrantable usurpation of strictly professional affairs, such as the
original drawing up of legal documents. The indigestion seemed betokened in an occasional
nervous testiness and grinning irritability, causing the teeth to audibly grind together over
mistakes committed in copying; unnecessary maledictions, hissed, rather than spoken, in the heat
of business; and especially by a continual discontent with the height of the table where he
worked. Though of a very ingenious mechanical turn, Nippers could never get this table to suit
him. He put chips under it, blocks of various sorts, bits of pasteboard, and at last went so far as to
attempt an exquisite adjustment by final pieces of folded blotting paper. But no invention would
answer. If, for the sake of easing his back, he brought the table lid at a sharp angle well up
towards his chin, and wrote there like a man using the steep roof of a Dutch house for his
desk:—then he declared that it stopped the circulation in his arms. If now he lowered the table to
his waistbands, and stooped over it in writing, then there was a sore aching in his back. In short,
the truth of the matter was, Nippers knew not what he wanted. Or, if he wanted any thing, it was
to be rid of a scrivener’s table altogether. Among the manifestations of his diseased ambition was
a fondness he had for receiving visits from certain ambiguous-looking fellows in seedy coats,
whom he called his clients. Indeed I was aware that not only was he, at times, considerable of a
ward-politician, but he occasionally did a little business at the Justices’ courts, and was not
unknown on the steps of the Tombs. I have good reason to believe, however, that one individual
who called upon him at my chambers, and who, with a grand air, he insisted was his client, was
no other than a dun, and the alleged title-deed, a bill. But with all his failings, and the
annoyances he caused me, Nippers, like his compatriot Turkey, was a very useful man to me;
wrote a neat, swift hand; and, when he chose, was not deficient in a gentlemanly sort of
deportment. Added to this, he always dressed in a gentlemanly sort of way; and so, incidentally,
reflected credit upon my chambers. Whereas with respect to Turkey, I had much ado to keep him
from being a reproach to me. His clothes were apt to look oily and smell of eating-houses. He
wore his pantaloons very loose and baggy in summer. His coats were execrable; his hat not to be
handled. But while the hat was a thing of indifference to me, inasmuch as his natural civility and
deference, as a dependent Englishman, always led him to doff it the moment he entered the
room, yet his coat was another matter. Concerning his coats, I reasoned with him; but with no
effect. The truth was, I suppose, that a man of so small an income, could not afford to sport such
a lustrous face and a lustrous coat at one and the same time. As Nippers once observed, Turkey’s
money went chiefly for red ink. One winter day I presented Turkey with a highly-respectable
looking coat of my own, a padded gray coat, of a most comfortable warmth, and which buttoned
straight up from the knee to the neck. I thought Turkey would appreciate the favor, and abate his
rashness and obstreperousness of afternoons. But no. I verily believe that buttoning himself up in
so downy and blanket-like a coat had a pernicious effect upon him; upon the same principle that
too much oats are bad for horses. In fact, precisely as a rash, restive horse is said to feel his oats,
so Turkey felt his coat. It made him insolent. He was a man whom prosperity harmed.
Though concerning the self-indulgent habits of Turkey I had my own private surmises, yet
touching Nippers I was well persuaded that whatever might be his faults in other respects, he
was, at least, a temperate young man. But indeed, nature herself seemed to have been his vintner,
and at his birth charged him so thoroughly with an irritable, brandy-like disposition, that all
subsequent potations were needless. When I consider how, amid the stillness of my chambers,
Nippers would sometimes impatiently rise from his seat, and stooping over his table, spread his
arms wide apart, seize the whole desk, and move it, and jerk it, with a grim, grinding motion on
the floor, as if the table were a perverse voluntary agent, intent on thwarting and vexing him; I
plainly perceive that for Nippers, brandy and water were altogether superfluous.
It was fortunate for me that, owing to its peculiar cause—indigestion— the irritability and
consequent nervousness of Nippers, were mainly observable in the morning, while in the
afternoon he was comparatively mild. So that Turkey’s paroxysms only coming on about twelve
o’clock, I never had to do with their eccentricities at one time. Their fits relieved each other like
guards. When Nippers’ was on, Turkey’s was off; and vice versa. This was a good natural
arrangement under the circumstances.
Ginger Nut, the third on my list, was a lad some twelve years old. His father was a carman,
ambitious of seeing his son on the bench instead of a cart, before he died. So he sent him to my
office as student at law, errand boy, and cleaner and sweeper, at the rate of one dollar a week. He
had a little desk to himself, but he did not use it much. Upon inspection, the drawer exhibited a
great array of the shells of various sorts of nuts. Indeed, to this quick-witted youth the whole
noble science of the law was contained in a nut-shell. Not the least among the employments of
Ginger Nut, as well as one which he discharged with the most alacrity, was his duty as cake and
apple purveyor for Turkey and Nippers. Copy- ing law papers being proverbially dry, husky sort
of business, my two scriveners were fain to moisten their mouths very often with Spitzenbergs to
be had at the numerous stalls nigh the Custom House and Post Office. Also, they sent Ginger Nut
very frequently for that peculiar cake—small, flat, round, and very spicy— after which he had
been named by them. Of a cold morning when business was but dull, Turkey would gobble up
scores of these cakes, as if they were mere wafers—indeed they sell them at the rate of six or
eight for a penny—the scrape of his pen blending with the crunching of the crisp particles in his
mouth. Of all the fiery afternoon blunders and flurried rashnesses of Turkey, was his once
moistening a ginger-cake between his lips, and clapping it on to a mortgage for a seal. I came
within an ace of dismissing him then. But he mollified me by making an oriental bow, and
saying—”With submission, sir, it was generous of me to find you in stationery on my own
Now my original business—that of a conveyancer and title hunter, and drawer- up of recondite
documents of all sorts—was considerably increased by receiving the master’s office. There was
now great work for scriveners. Not only must I push the clerks already with me, but I must have
additional help. In answer to my advertisement, a motionless young man one morning, stood
upon my office threshold, the door being open, for it was summer. I can see that figure now—
pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby.
After a few words touching his qualifications, I engaged him, glad to have among my corps of
copyists a man of so singularly sedate an aspect, which I thought might operate beneficially upon
the flighty temper of Turkey, and the fiery one of Nippers.
I should have stated before that ground glass folding-doors divided my premises into two parts,
one of which was occupied by my scriveners, the other by myself. According to my humor I
threw open these doors, or closed them. I resolved to assign Bartleby a corner by the foldingdoors, but on my side of them, so as to have this quiet man within easy call, in case any trifling
thing was to be done. I placed his desk close up to a small side-window in that part of the room,
a window which originally had afforded a lateral view of certain grimy back-yards and bricks,
but which, owing to subsequent erections, commanded at present no view at all, though it gave
some light. Within three feet of the panes was a wall, and the light came down from far above,
between two lofty buildings, as from a very small opening in a dome. Still further to a
satisfactory arrangement, I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate
Bartleby from my sight, though not remove him from my voice. And thus, in a manner, privacy
and society were conjoined.
At first Bartleby did an extraordinary quantity of writing. As if long famishing for something to
copy, he seemed to gorge himself on my documents. There was no pause for digestion. He ran a
day and night line, copying by sun-light and by candle-light. I should have been quite delighted
with his application, had he been cheerfully industrious. But he wrote on silently, palely,
It is, of course, an indispensable part of a scrivener’s business to verify the accuracy of his copy,
word by word. Where there are two or more scriveners in an office, they assist each other in this
examination, one reading from the copy, the other holding the original. It is a very dull,
wearisome, and lethargic affair. I can readily imagine that to some sanguine temperaments it
would be altogether intolerable. For example, I cannot credit that the mettlesome poet Byron
would have contentedly sat down with Bartleby to examine a law document of, say five hundred
pages, closely written in a crimpy hand.
Now and then, in the haste of business, it had been my habit to assist in com- paring some brief
document myself, calling Turkey or Nippers for this purpose. O …
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