At one end is seen the white wall of a large skylight shaft: Bartleby stares at this wall when he prefers not to work.
The Lawyer begins by noting that he is an "elderly man," and that his profession has brought him "into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men the law-copyists, or scriveners. Bartleby is, according to the Lawyer, "one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and, in his case, those were very small.
The first is Turkey, a man who is about the same age as the Lawyer around sixty. Turkey has been causing problems lately. He is an excellent scrivener in the morning, but as the day wears on—particularly in the afternoon—he becomes more prone to making mistakes, dropping ink plots on the copies he writes.
He also becomes more flushed, with an ill temper, in the afternoon. The Lawyer tries to help both himself and Turkey by asking Turkey only to work in the mornings, but Turkey argues with him, so the Lawyer simply gives him less important documents in the afternoon.
The second worker is Nippers, who is much younger and more ambitious than Turkey.
At twenty-five years old, he is a comical opposite to Turkey, because he has trouble working in the morning. Until lunchtime, he suffers from stomach trouble, and constantly adjusts the height of the legs on his desk, trying to get them perfectly balanced. In the afternoons, he is calmer and works steadily.
The last employee—not a scrivener, but an errand-boy—is Ginger Nut. His nickname comes from the fact that Turkey and Nippers often send him to pick up ginger nut cakes for them.
The Lawyer spends some time describing the habits of these men and then introduces Bartleby. Bartleby comes to the office to answer an ad placed by the Lawyer, who at that time needed more help. The Lawyer hires Bartleby and gives him a space in the office. At first, Bartleby seems to be an excellent worker.
He writes day and night, often by no more than candlelight.
His output is enormous, and he greatly pleases the Lawyer. One day, the Lawyer has a small document he needs examined. He calls Bartleby in to do the job, but Bartleby responds: Instead, he calls in Nippers to examine the document instead.A summary of "Bartleby the Scrivener" in Herman Melville's Melville Stories.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Melville Stories and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
"Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" is a short story by the American writer Herman Melville, first serialized anonymously in two parts in the November and December issues of Putnam's Magazine, and reprinted with minor textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in Author: Herman Melville.
Herman Melville from The Piazza Tales I Bartleby, The Scrivener 2 as a—premature act; inasmuch as I had counted upon a life-lease of the proﬁts, whereas I only received those of a few short years.
But this is by the way. My chambers were up stairs at No. – Wall-street.
At one end they looked. Bartleby the Scrivener study guide contains a biography of Herman Melville, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener - A Literary Analysis Bartleby the Scrivener is a story that takes place on Wall Street, peopled by workers of a common mold. Being a non-conformatist of the most extreme type, Bartleby is eventually suffers a death of attrition.
A summary of "Bartleby the Scrivener" in Herman Melville's Melville Stories. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Melville Stories and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.