Bartleby the Scrivener

How do the other characters react to Bartleby?


Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

The narrator finds Bartleby to be hardworking and sedate. He also finds Bartleby's refusals to follow his instructions to be disconcerting. At first, the narrator is too busy to deal with Bartleby's conduct. As the story progresses, he consistently pushes off a confrontation.


After a few words touching his qualifications, I engaged him, glad to have among my corps of copyists a man of so singularly sedate an aspect, which I thought might operate beneficially upon the flighty temper of Turkey, and the
fiery one of Nippers.

At first Bartleby did an extraordinary quantity of writing. As if long famishing for something to copy, he seemed to gorge himself on my documents. There was no pause for digestion. He ran a day and night line, copying by sun-light and by candle-light. I should have been quite delighted with his application, had he been cheerfully industrious. But he wrote on silently, palely, mechanically.

With any other man I should have flown outright into a dreadful passion, scorned all further words, and thrust him ignominiously from my presence. But there was something about Bartleby that not only strangely disarmed me, but in
a wonderful manner touched and disconcerted me.

Ginger Nut thinks Bartleby is "luny".

“I think, sir, he’s a little luny,” replied Ginger Nut with a grin."

Nippers believes that he should be fired, kicked out of the office.

“I think I should kick him out of the office.”

Turkey simply agrees with his employer.

“With submission, sir,” said Turkey, with his blandest tone, “I think that you are.”


Bartleby the Scrivener