Bartelby is a story that makes you want to read Melville!
The narrator is a notary who will one day pass an ad to recruit a scribe in his study. It was then that Bartleby comes into play. Over time this being that was first shown working, conscientious, smooth, speaking to no one, gradually reveals another part of his personality: he refuses some work that his boss asked him, saying that he "would prefer not to" make, and does not. And this sentence then returns consistently in his mouth: "I would prefer not to."
In this sense, Bartleby is a unique and original character, exciting, avant-garde literature and a phenomenon which may be called passive resistance.