In "Bartleby the Scrivener", the narrator is driven to the brink of insanity by Bartleby, and is baffled even by the end of the story. When Bartleby is first introduced, the narrator feels that he is an honest, hardworking man who keeps to himself. Then, after the first time Bartleby "prefers not to" do something, the narrator begins getting confused, and even submits to Bartleby's mild requests. By the time the narrator goes so mad that he vacates his building to get away from Bartleby, all he wants to do is go on living and forget about the strange Scrivener. He is soon hounded by a lawyer, and it appears no one can get Bartleby to leave the building. At this point, the narrator is a little more sympathetic with Bartleby, because he has realizes that he is the only one who knows who Bartleby is. .
When Bartleby is finally escorted to the "Tombs" by the police, the narrator finally accepts Bartleby's strange disposition, and he pays the "Grub-Man" to be polite to and feed Bartleby. He has accepted Bartleby as a liability, and somehow feels responsible for him.
The fact that Bartleby used to work in the dead letter department of the postal services explains his character well. Bartleby's entire life consisted of burning completely useless letters that were meant for people long dead. This must have effected him in some way to become the dull, pale, and grim person he is.