Great Expectations: Character Profiles
The main character and narrator of the novel, Pip is a man that all through his young life tries to better himself because he is ashamed of who he is, and where he came from. When fortune falls in his lap, Pip is forced to realize that money does not make you happy, and that it cannot buy what he wants most, Estella's love.
Pip's brother-in-law and father figure, Joe is the blacksmith with which Pip grew up. Though they are best friends and love each other, Joe represents all that Pip does not want out of his life, and so he pulls away from him as soon as fortune strikes.
A tyrannical sister and mother figure, Mrs. Joe raised Pip from the time his parents died when he was a baby until her accident. Abusive and prone to "rampages" of her temper, she appeared in the beginning to be an almost uncaring but authoritative figure.
Joe's uncle who got Pip the job with Miss Havisham. Because of this, he looked at himself as Pip's real benefactor and when Pip came into wealth he wanted to use him for his own purposes.
Soft and sweet, Biddy was always one of Pip's best friends. When they were little, Biddy taught him all that she knew in school, and as they grew older she began to teach herself along with her. After she moves into his house and few years pass, and Pip wishes that he could love Biddy but never really does.
A woman with a severely broken heart, she lives her life as if time stopped at twenty minutes to nine and daylight does not exist. Her only tender emotions she reserves for her adopted daughter Estella who she raises to break men's hearts. Pip becomes a toy to her and a boy for Estella to practice on.
Raised with a woman scorned and in a house where no daylight shined, Estella is a beautiful girl with an insensitive personality that enjoyed making Pip cry. As they get older, the only feeling that she shows is in her concern for Pip by telling him that he is warned. Raised to never feel love, Estella seems an empty shell of a person.
A young man with many dreams and aspirations, Herbert at first appears to have his head in the clouds. Even though at their first meeting as boys Herbert wanted to fight him, he is kind and trustworthy. When Pip comes into fortune, Herbert becomes his best friend and beloved confidant. After working with him Pip realizes, that his is an exceptionally hard worker and not just a dreamer.
Miss Havisham's cousin who is the only one in his family not after her fortune. After a fight long ago when he was trying to protect her from being hurt, Miss Havisham kicks him out of her house, and he never returns. In the end Miss Havisham leaves all of her money to him because he is the only one who ever truly cared for her happiness. Matthew is an intelligent man and a kind friend and teacher to Pip.
The universal lawyer, Mr. Jaggers is a hard man who shows very little emotion. He bases his life on reason and fact. Pips guardian from when he leaves home till he reaches his majority, Jaggers handles Pips fortune and advises him when necessary.
A clerk for Mr. Jaggers, at work Wemmick appears to have no feelings. When Pip visits him at home however he is an entirely different person to whom Pip will go to for advice or companionship. Wemmick takes care of his hearing impaired father, and in the end marries a woman, Miss Skiffins. His tiny house is his castle, and everything he has of value is "portable property."
A convict and Pip's benefactor, at different times in the story Magwitch is both villain and hero. After the loss of his daughter, Magwitch develops affection for the young boy who brings him food, brandy, and a file. Wanting the boy to be all he couldn't be, he devotes his life to making money and giving it to the boy to be a gentleman. Magwitch risks his life so he can see Pip, but is vengefulness shines through when he sees or talks of Compeyson.
Another student of Matthew Pockets, Drummle is a titled noble who is mistrustful and arrogant. Knowing that Pip has affection for her, Drummle courts Estella and taunts Pip with the knowledge. He later marries her but is an abusive husband.
Another of the villainous characters in the story, his jealousy of Pip dements him. Angry with Mrs. Joe for some offense that she committed, Orlick attacks her and tries to kill her. He later tries to kill Pip also but is thwarted. His diabolical mind and stupid demeanor makes for a perfect combination of evil stupidity that makes people not suspect him for his crimes.
Great Expectations Study GuideChoose to Continue
- Great Expectations
- Volume 1, Chapter 1-Volume 1, Chapter 3
- Volume 1, Chapter 4-Volume 1, Chapter 6
- Volume 1, Chapter 7-Volume 1, Chapter 9
- Volume 1, Chapter 10-Volume 1, Chapter 12
- Volume 1, Chapter 13-Volume 1, Chapter 15
- Volume 1, Chapter 16-Volume 1, Chapter 18
- Volume 1, Chapter 19-Volume 2, Chapter 2
- Volume 2, Chapter 3-Volume 2, Chapter 5
- Volume 2, Chapter 6-Volume 2, Chapter 8
- Volume 2, Chapter 9-Volume 2, Chapter 11
- Volume 2, Chapter 12-Volume 2, Chapter 14
- Volume 2, Chapter 15-Volume 2, Chapter 17
- Volume 2, Chapter 18-Volume 2, Chapter 20
- Volume 3, Chapter 1-Volume 3, Chapter 3
- Volume 3, Chapter 4-Volume 3, Chapter 6
- Volume 3, Chapter 7-Volume 3, Chapter 9
- Volume 3, Chapter 10-Volume 3, Chapter 12
- Volume 3, Chapter 13-Volume 3, Chapter 15
- Volume 3, Chapter 16-Volume 3, Chapter 18
- Volume 3, Chapter 19-Volume 3, Chapter 20
- Character Profiles
- Metaphor Analysis
- Top Ten Quotes