Bartleby, the
By Herman Melville
Power Point
by Wilmer Arellano
Important characters
The Narrator
The Narrator
• The narrator in this story is an elderly man
who’s occupation for the last 30 years or so
has been a lawyer. He owns an office on wall
street, New York, and has worked with many
scriveners in the past.
Turkey and Nippers
• Turkey and Nippers were the two scriveners
that worked for the Narrator at the time.
Turkey was a drunk so he only worked well in
the morning because he was sober, and
Nippers suffered from chronic indigestion so
he couldn’t work well in the morning, but his
stomach settled in the afternoon, so he could
work well then. The only reason the office
survived is because each of these men were
working their best at opposite times.
• Bartleby was said to be the most interesting
scrivener the narrator has ever met. Bartleby
worked in a dead letter office before he began
to work for the narrator. The narrator thought
Bartleby was a terrific employee because
unlike Turkey or Nippers he could work well in
both the morning and the afternoon.
• The story begins with the Narrator telling the reader
about his life and his career, and then he goes on to tell
about some of the scriveners he has met which is when
he talks about Turkey and Nippers. The narrator then
tells the story of the most interesting scrivener of all.
Bartleby was the most interesting by far, the narrator
said. When Bartleby first started working in the office
he was an excellent worker because he worked well all
day. A few days into Bartleby’s new career the narrator
asks him if he could proofread some documents for
him, and Bartleby replied “I would prefer not to”.
• The narrator was confused by Bartleby’s
response, but he chose to ignore it. As time went
on Bartleby refused to do more and more work,
always saying “I would prefer not to”. Soon
enough Bartleby was not doing any work at all,
and he began to live in the office. The narrator
attempted many times to reason with Bartleby to
get him to leave, but his response was “I would
prefer not to”. The narrator even tried to fool
Bartleby by moving to a new office, but Bartleby
would not leave.
• After countless times to try to get Bartleby to
leave the narrator decided to take a few days off
from work. When he returned to work he found
out that Bartleby had been arrested because he
refused to leave the premises. The Narrator went
to the prison where Bartleby was being kept to
check up on him. He also bribed the guard to
make sure Bartleby was well fed. A few days later
he returned to check on Bartleby once more, but
he found out he had died. The prison guard told
him that Bartleby died because he “preferred not
to” eat.
• After his death the narrator decided to
investigate Bartleby’s history and he found out
that he used to work in a dead letter office. A
dead letter office is a place where letters are
kept that have no where to go. Perhaps
Bartleby felt he had no where to go. The
narrator ends the story with the words “Ah,
Bartleby!, ah humanity!”

similar documents