Study Guide

The Man in the Grey and White Suit in The Confidence-Man

By Herman Melville

The Man in the Grey and White Suit

Somber as a crypt, this guy's collecting money for widows and orphans. He's best known for being an Eeyore, starting awkward convos with lines like, "'Madam, pardon my freedom, but there is something in that face which strangely draws me'" (8, 6), and tooting his own horn about that one time at the world's fair when he was a genius and everyone laughed at him.

This dude's role in the text seems to be to offer a counter to your usual song-and-dance grifters: he'll depress you into parting with your dolla-dolla-bills.