Response 7

“Bartleby, The Scrivener” by Herman Melville, What does Bartleby want?

In the passage by Herman Melville ” Bartleby, the Scrivener”, Bartleby is a copier that continues to reply ” i prefer not to” when asked to do various tasks by his boss. Despite all this Bartleby’s boss demonstrates incredible kindness towards Bartleby even after he decides to stop copying all together. In the beginning the narrator( Bartleby’s boss) hires Bartleby to be the calm personality among the other employees Turkey and Nippers, because they are opposites of each other. Turkey is productive in the morning but drunk in the afternoon while Nippers is irritable in the morning but mellows out by the afternoon. Bartleby seems to function as a part of the bigger machine with the narrator as the head of the company. After a while Bartleby stops copying and only replies “i prefer not to” when asked to do certain things. It seems that Bartleby doesn’t want to participate as part of the machine anymore. Bartleby’s entire life even before working for the narrator seemed to be filled with nothing but his work at the Dead Letter Office . Even though Bartleby was physically a living breathing person it was like he was inhuman like a machine who’s only purpose was his work. Finally, he decided his purpose in life would no longer be his work, he stopped copying and vowed never to go back to it.

“The Liberal Solution to Police Violence: Restoring Trust Will Ensure Obedience” by Jose Carmona. What is Carmona’s main point? What do you understand Carmona to want?

In the passage by Jose Carmona, the author discusses how the government specifically the government program the Task Force on 21st Century Policing actually handles police  brutality against the public. Carmona’s main point seems to be that the Task Force is misguided in believing that the issue of police brutality will be solved by building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both sides. In other words, people will be more likely to obey the commands of police if they believe the police are an institution worthy of respect. Throughout the passage Carmona seems to goo back and forth with what the Task Force’s solution does and what it should be doing. For instance Carmona writes “Yet it cannot ask what the roots of this lack of legitimacy among Black and Hispanic people might be, because its guiding principle is to increase legitimacy across the board, not to investigate racism underlying the system that police power maintains”. It seems that Carmona wants the Task Force to investigate the real issues within the Police Dept. find out what is the cause of the recent incidents between police and the public and try to solve that. Legitimizing the police is aimed to make people obey not solve the issues between the police and the citizens. Carmona wants to feel as if a real sense of justice is taking place not just a procedural fix.

Bartleby and Carmona’s wants seem to be nothing alike but in fact they are. Like Bartleby’s job and the idea of the police dept. they all work as a part of a larger machine or corporation. Bartleby was a part of a larger company because his job and the jobs of the other employees contributed to his boss’s business. The police dept is an extension of the government controlling the public, therefore they are a a part of a bigger machine or corporation. Both Bartleby and Carmona want either not to take part in the corporation at all or for the corporation to change the manner in which it deals with the public. Bartleby and Carmona’s wants are alike in the way they center around the focus of a corporation to make sure work gets done, whether that means working for a company or making sure the public follows the law.

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2 Responses to Response 7

  1. Abigale says:

    I think you did a great job on the describing Bartleby’s “rebellion” against the “machine”, the “machine” being his boss. He had reached a point in life where he had enough and realized that constant working didn’t add any value to his life. You did a good job at bringing that idea to the forefront.

  2. Jvega says:

    The comparison is well thought out and puts them together well

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