… in his life. This however, changes with the presence of Bartleby, who forces the narrator to step outside his comfortable shell in order to reach out to a fellow man. What makes this effort so amazing for the narrator is that Bartleby does not respond.
Another metaphor that is critical to the meaning of the story is the very brief piece of history that the narrator discovers about Bartleby. This is his previous occupation as a clerk in the Dead Letter Office. (1020) This information is something of a revelation for the narrator because it not only somehow fits the …
… lost hope much like the dead letters he burned. In addition, the narrator’s efforts to communicate with Bartleby become like dead letters as well. Though the narrator was unable to reach Bartleby, he was changed as a result of his encounter with this isolated man.
Melville, Herman. “Bartleby the Scrivener.” The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. 1981.