Bartleby, the Scrivener


Herman Melville

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Bartleby, the Scrivener Characters


Bartleby’s actions throughout the story come to embody the idea of passive resistance. By the story’s end, Bartleby therefore becomes an antagonist to The Lawyer’s goal of getting the most productivity out of… read analysis of Bartleby

The Lawyer

We never learn his name, but The Lawyer, who narrates the story, tells us that he is a lawyer who owns his own law practice located on Wall Street in New York City. The… read analysis of The Lawyer


A young scrivener in The Lawyer’s office who does a kind of changing of the guard with Turkey at lunchtime—Nippers is only useful after lunch, because he suffers from what The Lawyer calls… read analysis of Nippers

The Other Lawyer

This lawyer arrives in the narrative after The Lawyer has changed offices in order to escape Bartleby. This second lawyer informs The Lawyer (who narrates the story) that Bartleby hasn’t vacated the premises of… read analysis of The Other Lawyer
Minor Characters
An elderly scrivener in The Lawyer’s office, Turkey is in good spirits and does good work before lunchtime, at which point he becomes drunk, cranky, and mostly useless. We never learn his real name, as The Lawyer refers to him only by his nickname.
Ginger Nut
A twelve-year-old helper who works in the law office. In this narrative he mostly runs errands for the other scriveners, often venturing out to get them food. We also never learn Ginger Nut’s real name, as The Lawyer only refers to him by his nickname.
The Grubman
An employee at the prison where Bartleby ends up. The Lawyer hires The Grubman to cook for Bartleby, but his efforts go to waste as Bartleby refuses to eat the food.