Melville Reading Questions

Herman Melville, “Bartelby, the Scrivener”

1. Who do you think is this story’s main character–Bartelby or the narrator?

2. What is the function of the secondary characters: Turkey, Nippers, and Ginger?

3.. What is the role of New York in this story?

4. Do you think there is any explanation for Bartelby’s resistance? Is he exercising free will?

5. Pay attention to all the times walls are mentioned. What is the significance of this repetition?