Bartleby, The Scrivener : A Story Of Wall Street

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“I am not in this world to live up to other people 's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine”, states Fritz Pearls in the “Gestalt Prayer”. As a noted German-born psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Pearls’ quote casts a spot light on social awareness versus self- independence and nonconformity. Similar to the short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”, published in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine in 1853 by Herman Melville. The narrator, is an elderly lawyer with a small time firm who hires a scrivener named Bartleby. In the beginning Bartleby does the work asked of him by the lawyer but as time progresses he stops working completely using the phrase “I would prefer not to” as a form of negligible defiance. As a result of Bartleby’s consistent refusal to complete various tasks and to leave the establishment the lawyer is forced to move his practice elsewhere. The lawyer returns to find that Bartleby was labeled as a vagrant and removed from the office by law enforcement. The lawyer’s strange obsession with Bartleby drives him to visit him in the tombs that have become his prison. As he continued his defiance in the form of refusal of food, he soon dies from starvation.
Further in Foucault’s essay of “Panopticism”, an excerpt from Discipline and Punish he begins by listing measures to be taken during the seventeenth century plague including the partitioning of space and closing off of houses and towns. Combined with constant inspection,
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