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Unformatted text preview: Thinking over Bartleby's general behavior, the lawyer concludes that the man does not converse, read, drink beer, or dine out. He does not even indulge in tea or coffee. The lawyer's contemplation of the copyist's "morbid moodiness" moves from sadness and pity to fear and repulsion. He concludes that the disorder is "innate and incurable" and that Bartleby's suffering soul lies beyond his ability to render aid. Deciding to question the man, the lawyer proposes to fire him if he elects not to respond. On Monday morning, while asking Bartleby about his background, he receives the same answer to all his questions: "I would prefer not to [tell you]." The lawyer loses control of the situation. Embarrassed that Bartleby is defying him, his superior, he also perceives that the demented man's "prefers" are beginning to permeate conversations throughout the office. Still, the lawyer delays "prefers" are beginning to permeate conversations throughout the office....
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- Fall '08