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

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Who are the main characters in Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street"?

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The major characters of Melville's "Bartleby" are as follows:

  • The narrator, described as "a rather elderly man" who holds the office of Master in Chancery and acts as a lawyer dealing in the business of "rich men's bonds and mortgages and title-deeds" (Melville).
  • Bartleby, the eccentric new hire at the law office. He is described as "pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, [and] incurably forlorn!" Bartleby causes great confusion and anxiety for the narrator throughout the story, often refusing to do assigned tasks by simply stating, "I would prefer not to" (Melville).
  • Ginger Nut, a young errand-boy and student at the law office. Ginger Nut is roughly twelve years old and performs menial tasks at the office such as cleaning, sweeping, and fetching snacks for the law copyists.
  • Turkey, a law-copyist who is frequently messy, prone to error, and red-faced.
  • Nippers, a law-copyist described as a "whiskered, sallow" man of roughly twenty-five years with an often irritable temperament (Melville).
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