A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

by

Amor Towles

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The Bishop Character Analysis

A Bolshevik who works at the hotel, whom the Count refers to as “the Bishop” due to his “narrow head and superior demeanor.” The Bishop starts the novel working as a waiter in the hotel’s less elegant restaurant, the Piazza, before rising through the ranks to a position in the hotel’s premier restaurant, the Boyarsky. He then becomes the assistant hotel manager and finally the hotel manager. The Count takes an immediate dislike to him due to his lack of tact, his lack of experience and knowledge about waiting, and because he does not pick up on traditional dining cues. The Bishop, in turn, dislikes the Count because he views the count as representative of an old and outmoded way of life. He complains that keeping a wine list in the hotel is contrary to the values of the new Soviet society, and thus all of the wine labels are removed in order to equalize the bottles. The Count finds this action disastrous, as each bottle is unique, and views it as an attack on his way of life. Thus, the Bishop becomes representative of a regime obsessed with tearing down traditional ways of life simply because they are traditional.

The Bishop Quotes in A Gentleman in Moscow

The A Gentleman in Moscow quotes below are all either spoken by The Bishop or refer to The Bishop. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Gentleman in Moscow published in 2016.
Book 2, 1924, Anonymity Quotes

Yes, a bottle of wine was the ultimate distillation of time and place; a poetic expression of individuality itself. Yet here it was, cast back into the sea of anonymity, that realm of averages and unknowns.

Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:

Because the Bolsheviks, who were so intent upon recasting the future from a mold of their own making, would not rest until every last vestige of his Russia had been uprooted, shattered, or erased.

Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 5, Antagonists at Arms (And an Absolution) Quotes

“Your sort,” he sneered. “How convinced you have always been of

the rightness of your actions. As if God Himself was so impressed with your precious manners and delightful way of putting things that He blessed you to do as you pleased. What vanity.”

Related Characters: The Bishop (speaker), The Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov
Page Number: 433
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 5, Apotheosis Quotes

At that moment, it somehow seemed to the Count that no one was out of place; that every little thing happening was part of some master plan; and that within the context of that plan, he was meant to sit in the chair between the potted palms and wait.

Page Number: 439
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Bishop Character Timeline in A Gentleman in Moscow

The timeline below shows where the character The Bishop appears in A Gentleman in Moscow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, An Acquaintanceship
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...the Piazza by a new waiter. The Count refers to this man only as the Bishop because of his narrow head and superior demeanor. The Count notes how the Bishop misses... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...table. According to Vasily, she is the daughter of a widowed Ukrainian diplomat. After the Bishop delivers the Count’s soup, Nina approaches his table and asks where his moustache has gone.... (full context)
Book 1, Advent
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...impression by revealing that his grandmother had taken him to The Nutcracker every year, the Bishop interrupts and asks if they are ready to order, which they clearly are not. The... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
The couple orders two bowls of the Latvian stew, and the Bishop asks if they would like wine to go with it. When the man struggles with... (full context)
Book 2, 1924, Anonymity
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...of meat) for the evening. He is shocked, however, at the appearance of his waiter—the Bishop, who has been promoted from the Piazza to the Boyarsky. The Bishop seems to understand... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
When the Count tries to specify that his wine selection is a red wine, the Bishop explains that there are only two wine options: red or white. The Count summons Andrey... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...asks who filed the complaint, and Andrey states that it may have originated with the Bishop. The Count remembers the incident at Christmas when he had corrected the Bishop’s wine recommendation,... (full context)
Book 3, Arachne’s Art
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
...desk across from Arkady; Mr. Halecki still sits in the manager’s office (though with the Bishop as the new assistant manager). The Boyarsky still serves the very best from Emile Zhukhovsky,... (full context)
Book 3, Absinthe
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
On the way to the Boyarsky, the Count is stopped by the Bishop, who asks where the Count is going. The Count says that he has lost his... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...he tries to gather them up, the doorway to the kitchen opens and reveals the Bishop once again. The Bishop asks what brings them all to the kitchen. Andrey says that... (full context)
Book 3, Antics, Antitheses, an Accident
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
At 1:30, the Count is sitting in the manager’s office, which is now the Bishop’s office. He is unsure why he has been summoned. The Bishop begins to ask him... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...is aware of the events of the morning. But he is still unsure why the Bishop has summoned him. The Bishop explains that the geese had been locked in a cage... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
As the Count leaves, he is rankled by the Bishop’s implication that Sofia was involved. Even though she is now thirteen, she is studious, shy,... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...in the Boyarsky with Andrey and Emile, who agree that it is outrageous that the Bishop accused Sofia of such an act. On a separate note, Andrey asks the Count to... (full context)
Book 4, 1953, Apostles and Apostates
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
In the middle of the evening, the Bishop had paid a visit to the Boyarsky. The Count appealed to him, asking if they... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...her success. At that moment, Vasily enters the closet to inform the Count that the Bishop is on his way to the Count’s room. A petite gentleman in a brimmed hat... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
The Bishop congratulates the Count on this development, which makes him want to strangle the man. At... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The celebration of Sofia’s success revives even more heartily after the Bishop’s visit. Sofia makes a toast to the Count, saying that she has no intention of... (full context)
Book 5, 1954, Applause and Acclaim
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...are wondering whether Paris has changed, when the newest member of their daily meeting, the Bishop, enters. The Bishop edits Emile’s menu, provides seating instructions to Andrey, and determines that the... (full context)
Book 5, Adulthood
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Later, the Count, Emile, Andrey, and the Bishop all sit in the Bishop’s office. The Boyarsky’s daily meeting has been moved to this... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The Bishop asks about the preparations for the dinner of the Presidium and the Council of Ministers.... (full context)
Book 5, An Announcement
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...day prior and so he asked the Count to assume his duties. Andrey told the Bishop that he already contacted comrade Propp, the liaison at the Kremlin, to confirm. (full context)
Book 5, Antagonists at Arms (And an Absolution)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
When the Count arrives in his room, the Bishop is sitting at his desk with the Count’s first map of Paris, with Sofia’s escape... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
The narrator flashes back: when the Bishop left the Count, the Count was struck by fury, fear, and frustration. Then, he had... (full context)
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Seeing the Count, the Bishop insists that he leave. The Count tells him to sit. When the Bishop starts to... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
As the Count waits in the office with the Bishop, the Bishop sneers that the nobility have always been convinced of their supremacy, and have... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
The Count looks over the Bishop’s filing cabinets and asks for the key to them. The Bishop hands over his keyring,... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
At 2:30 in the morning, the Count leads the Bishop to the boiler room, forcing him to dump the files into the furnace. Then the... (full context)
Afterword, Afterwards…
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
...seek out the Count, but they cannot find him. The officers try to question the Bishop, but they cannot seem to find him either. Andrey and Emile hear a rumor that... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...him that Sofia and the Count have both gone missing. They have also found the Bishop locked in a storeroom. He told him that he discovered Sofia’s plan to escape and... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...on a train to Helsinki. The connection to the Finnish passport was made by the Bishop, who had seen the Count pick up a travel guide book for Finland. The young... (full context)