Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Questions and Answers
by Herman Melville

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In “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, why do you think Turkey, Nippers, and Ginger Nut are introduced to the reader before Bartleby?

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Turkey, Nipper, and Ginger Nut are introduced first to prepare us for why the lawyer is initially so delighted with Bartleby. We learn from the first three employees that it is apparently hard to come by a good scrivener, and we can imagine that the job is not well paid or particularly satisfying. The lawyer seems to have to take what he can get in help. He also comes across as very tolerant, which prepares us for his acceptance of Bartleby's quirks.

Turkey, who is about 60, works well in the morning but then drinks heavily during lunch and is not good for accurate work, or much work at all, in the afternoon. Nipper, aged 25, is ambitious, so he steps outside of the boundaries of his job and does things like draw up legal documents, which is uncalled for. He also can be irritable. Ginger Nut is irritable as well and engages in noisy activities that disturb the whole office such as:

stooping over his table, spread[ing] his arms wide apart, seiz[ing] the whole desk, . . . with a grim,...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 651 words.)

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jasminop | Student

I think that it is to show the everyday life of the narrator before Bartleby in introduced and to show that the narrator can and does deal with people's quirks as long as he understands them (he understands why turkey, nippers and ginger act the way they do.)

The narrator is already seen as someone who can deal with people's issues as long as they are explained while he can't deal with Bartleby because his actions are unexplainable.