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Major characters in "Bartley, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" are the narrator and Bartleby. The narrator (lawyer) is a major character because he plays a big role in the whole story as it all revolves around his minds working and constantly alternates between the extreme ends of sympathy and umbrage, kindness and murderous hatred. Without all these, the story would not be fascinating or capturing for the readers and the writer as well because he needs a captivating topic to create an interesting story that keeps readers wanting more. Bartleby on the other hand, is seen by many readers to be an autobiographical portrait of the author when he is laid off from the Dead Letter Office. There are other readers who will seek to find legendary and factual life predecessors thus he remains to be a symbol of heroic insubordination in the faces of those persistent enough to keep urging him to do what he does not prefer like other tasks apart from his copying work. If at any time the narrator asks him to do the odd jobs in the office, he simply replies "I would prefer not to" which has become his song and clings to with adamancy so as to isolate himself from work requests that are not in his line of duty.
The minor characters in this story are those who are not visible all the time in the development of the story and include the Turkey, Nippers and Ginger-Nut who exemplify the general disorder of social nature and as such through these characters, we as the readers are able to analyze the specific nature of failings exemplified in the existing relation between the lawyer (narrator) and Bartleby. Nippers and Turkey are defined by the trait of their inability to be able to express themselves as whole men thus have 'split personalities.' Melville in the tale represents two minor characters (Nippers and Turkey) that are the opposite of each other and appear to be more caricatures than the real people because they give an almost brief comical reprieve to the whole tale. Without them, the tale would not be lively at some points.
The lawyer (narrator) is a dynamic character because he deals with all people in the tale and most especially because he has a soft spot for Bartleby every minute a detail of his life is revealed to the public the lawyer sympathizes. This is also supported by his end remarks "Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!" which in turn equates the scrivener and the universal. What this simply means is that he is not simply Bartleby, but the whole of humankind. Ginger Nut is a flat character because the only time he appears in the tale is when he is sent on an errand to buy the others a ginger nut cake. This is also the way he was able to obtain his nickname. There is no exciting event revolving around him and thus after delivering the cake his role in the story comes to a halt till the next time the others feel like eating another ginger nut cake.
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Bartleby is also considered to be a flat character because of his appearance throughout the whole story and as such readers at times want to see new characters in the story so as to expand their creative thinking and keep them attentive at all times, but it is not the case in this tale because he has been used to represent the universal man who is lost in the daily, boring and repetitious works of every day living. He is also constructed in that specific way so as to bring the numerous emerging themes in the tale. Bartleby has also been able to bring out the tone of emptiness and that of barrenness in his personality and life which are essential for the development and ultimate support of Melville's view concerning the world of business.
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