What role do Turkey, Ginger Nut, and Nippers play in the story of Bartleby's life in "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street"?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One role that Turkey, Ginger Nut, and Nippers play in "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street" is to present a contrast to Bartleby's characteristics. First, they are industrious and willing to produce usable work, despite their eccentricities and irregularities in behavior. Second, they are successful at establishing an amicable relationship with their employer and finding their way to manage to live and work in the environment society has created, one with no, or at best few, alternatives.

Another role they play is to show the social norms in the post-industrialization capitalist urban work place by highlighting the attitudes of employer and employee. For instance, the employer may criticize the employees' habits of dress and behavior, as the lawyer does, without realizing that an increased wage would give them greater opportunity for making choices about how to live, which would give them less to be criticized about. In addition, with a higher wage and more respect of their independent personalities, the workers may be driven to fewer eccentricities as they try to get through their meager lives the best they can.

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