Bartleby Model Of Dehumanization

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Who is Bartleby? What exactly is the purpose of this character? While it is quite obvious that Bartleby takes front and center as the subject of the story, it isn’t as obvious why that is. The character is implied to have some an ulterior meaning that isn’t quick to spot. However, I assure you, that it is there. That reason behind Bartleby’s character is to show the dehumanization in society as productivity becomes our main priority. Bartleby in many ways can be evaluated through the McDonaldization of Society. This, if you are unaware, is a sociology term for society adapting a process similarly found in fast-food restaurants. This model is a model of dehumanization, and through this model what Bartleby represents is clearer. The four principles…show more content…
If I had to put a human equivalent to the word efficiency, it would most certainly be Bartleby. “A few days after this, Bartleby concluded four lengthy documents, being quadruplicates of a week’s testimony taken before me in my High Court of Chancery.” (Page 629, The Norton Introduction to Literature). This is only an example of the amount of work repeatedly referred to with Bartleby. He worked non-stop, and his entire routine went directly to work to such a degree that he required little energy to be put into his work. “I observed that he never went to dinner; indeed that he never went anywhere. As yet I had never of my personal knowledge known him to be outside of my office. He was a perpetual sentry in the corner.” (Page 631, The Norton Introduction to Literature). Bartleby even only ate at work, never seemed to take breaks and was later found to be resting at the workplace rather than leaving. He didn’t even require much pay at all with the food he lived on, and he had no real home to put pay towards. In such this way, he was efficient. All his energy and dedication went to work. None of his energy went anywhere else. As humans, we’re not meant to be efficient. Ideally, we’d like to be, but machines were made specifically for the purpose of providing efficiency in production. Humans require energy regardless of it being put into work or not, and so, humans aren’t efficient. The fact that Bartleby could fit such a descriptor is dehumanizing in its

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