Bartleby, the Scrivener one of the first text I read at university. There is something strange and frustrating about Bartleby. I think ironically about the way in which he lingers long after the novel finishes, especially the phrase, “I would prefer not to.”
One of the interesting things in re-reading such texts is how memory holds up. I remember the refusal to work, even though there was no practical reason not to. This is summed up in the quote from the story:
Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance.
However, what I had forgotten was that there was more to Bartleby than we can ever quite know.
He never spoke, but to answer
In particular, the death due to starvation, highlighting that there might have been more going on.