BARTLEBY and the POTATO ELF
ENGAGEMENT WITH THE WORLDOF
BARTLEBY AND THE POTATO ELF
Engagement with the World of Bartleby and the Potato Elf
The story of Potato Elf was all about life and death as conflictingperceptions between the world of fantasy and reality. The Potato Elfbeing mentioned here is Frederick Dobson, a circus dwarf who wasoften been bullied by others because of his job and of his ownphysical appearance. In the course of the story, Fred was eager togain a sexual fantasy to the wife of his master magician named Shock(Johnson, 2014).
On the other hand, Bartleby, the Scrivener, was a lawyer in WallStreet in New York. At the course of the story, Bartleby questionsthe individuality of human beings, for whom he wanted to know whatreally does it take to be a human. He was just an ordinary lawyer, anelder man who had regularly practiced his profession everyday.According to Sparknote Editors (n.d.), Bartleby was described as "oneof those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable". Meaning, hewanted to be secluded and live in a far side of their locality aloneand be disengaged with what is around his environment.
Fred was more of an attention-seeker while Bartleby wanted to beseparated from his outside environment. Fred, because of his outsideappearance, was often be left out by other people and he wanted to beinvolved in his outside world for it will only be his main reason whyhe had done so many reckless things in his life. Whereas Bartleby wasalready contented with his life and that he already refused to mingleand interact with the society he belonged. He was not anymorecooperative with the people around him.
Due to their personal character traits that were completelydifferent, towards the end of the story, both Fred and Bartleby hadsuffered such a demise in their lives. Because of Bartleby`s decisionto isolate himself with the society, he ended up dying in a lonely,pathetic death with no one to even care for him. It was such a verymiserable death that he had experienced because of his lack of socialcommunication with the outside world. Moreover, his actions havefurther negated himself to the benefits that he might get upon livingwith the people around him. As for Fred, he was greatly inspired toNora, such that he even think of having a child with her. He knewthat Nora didn`t really like the overall attitude and appearance ofFred, yet, Fred still insists himself to her. Thus, at the end of thestory, Nora, then denied the fact that they have a child and thatFred was more or less denied by his own eagerness to live and bealong with the people around him. His faith of believing that theworld will be good to him has vanquished.
There are many instances that people wanted to seek attention fromother people because they know that they cannot live alone. Moreover,there are also people who prefer to be alone and exclude themselvesfrom social interactions and activities. For the two main characters,Fred and Bartleby, both of them has an exaggerated attitude andbehavior such that their own actions had led them to their demise.They did not balance their own actions and thoughts about theirinvolvement in the outside wold, the same thing that they were easilyinfluenced by their own perceptions. Sometimes, there will come atime that we need someone`s companion. Someone whom we can share ourproblems, challenges, and special events that happened in our lives.It serves as motivation for us to gain more trust and respect toother people. Yet, with all the things that can be made possiblebecause of the presence of other people, there will also be instancesin life that we need to be alone. We need time to evaluate our ownself, analyze the past experiences that we have engaged into, andwhen time permits, we can share it to other people. Life indeed hasits ups and downs, no one can be our master except our self.
Johnson, R. (2014). 15- The Potato Elf. RetrievedMay09,2014, fromhttp://www.mantex.co.uk/2009/09/25/the-potato-elf/
SparkNotesEditors. (n.d.). SparkNoteon Melville Stories.Retrieved May09,2014, from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/melvillestories/