Questions On The Novel ' The Great Gatsby ' By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1434 Words6 Pages
1. Identify the protagonist, and define the kinds of conflict that make up the plot.

• The protagonist of the story is the narrator, and the story is written in first person. The narrator is a lawyer who has his own business and has hired four clerks, the last being Bartleby. The narrator seems to be indecisive, and he is a pushover when it comes to Bartleby because of something in Bartleby’s demeanor that hooks him. The reader sees events unfold through the narrator, and he becomes the most personable character throughout the story.

2. Characterize the staff at the Wall Street office before the arrival of Bartleby. How are they comic? Why does the lawyer not replace them?

• The lawyer does not replace his staff because they all
…show more content…
Are there any verifiable reasons for his behavior? Is he a developing character (give examples to show that he is or is not)?

• Bartleby is a static character because although initially he is a studious copyist who does his job diligently and produces lengthy, completed copies, at that time, he is still passive and “prefers not to” do the tasks the lawyer asks. When Bartleby tells the lawyer “he had permanently given up copying,” indicating an epiphany and change of mind, it does not change who is as a character because he still is passive and refuses to talk much or explain himself. In the beginning, when the lawyer requests that Bartleby examine a small paper, he responds with, “I would prefer not to.” In the middle of the story, when the lawyer asks Bartleby to leave the premises or make himself useful, Bartleby again responds with, “I would prefer not to quit you,” still displaying his passivity. Finally, this passivity leads to his death as he refuses to eat at the prison even though the grub-man shows him a special preference. 4. How does the lawyer feel about Bartleby at the various stages of his story? Are his feelings clear to him? How do you feel about Bartleby as the story develops? Can you say for certain why he does what he does (or does not do what he does not)?

• The lawyer changes his opinions on Bartleby as the story develops, never coming to a definitive decision. Initially, the narrator
Get Access