Free Study Guide for Great Expectations by Charles Dickens-Book Summary
The beautiful adopted daughter of Miss Havisham. Haughty and contemptuous, she is a girl with a very cold heart. She has been brought up to wreak revenge on the male sex on Miss Havisham's behalf. She is honest with Pip when she tells him she is incapable of returning his love.
Magwitch (also known as Provis and Campbell)
An escaped convict who initially bullies Pip into bringing him food and a file. Unbeknownst to Pip, the convict later rewards him by bequeathing him a large amount of money anonymously. He comes back into Pip’s life when Pip is an adult, revealing himself as the donor, and asks for help in escaping the death sentence he has been given as a result of his life of crime.
Mrs. Joe Gargery
Pip’s sister. She is a short-tempered woman who resents Pip because he is a burden to her. She is attacked with a leg-iron and spends the rest of her life unable to communicate because of a brain-injury. She learns to be patient and forgiving as a result of the attack.
Pip's confidante and teacher. As a child, she develops a crush on Pip. She runs the house after Mrs. Joe’s accident and later marries Joe.
A parish lay clerk who had formerly wanted to be a clergyman. He leaves his church to become a not-so-successful actor in London. His “great expectations” are in comic parallel to Pip’s.
Joe's uncle. He joins Mrs. Joe in bullying and resenting Pip, then takes some credit for Pip's good fortune.
Mr. and Mrs. Hubble
Friends of Mrs. Joe.
Joe's employee. He is an evil character who attacks Mrs. Joe and also attempts to take Pip's life. Later he robs Mr. Pumblechook and ends up in jail.
A criminal lawyer in London. He is well respected in his own dubious social circle, and is most well known for his ability to defend even the dregs of society. He is the administrator of Pip’s inheritance.
Jaggers' confidential clerk. He is a good-natured man in his personal life, but is incredibly stern and officious in his professional life. Pip often remarks that Wemmick has two personalities. He becomes an advisor and friend to Pip.
Pip's elegant and artlessly optimistic best friend. Though living in genteel poverty, he is an example of an uncommon gentleman.
Mr. Matthew Pocket
Pip’s teacher and Herbert’s father. He is a thoroughly educated gentleman under whom Pip is to learn. He is the only member of the family who does not flatter Mrs. Havisham; as a result, she is not happy with him.
A sulking brute who eventually marries Estella then mistreats her.
A tenant of Mr. Pocket and a friend of Pip.
Jaggers’ housekeeper. She was once accused of murder but acquitted. She turns out to be Estella’s mother.
Wemmick’s girlfriend and later, bride.
Herbert Pocket’s girlfriend and later, bride.
The old widow with whom Estella lives in Richmond.
An elderly woman at whose house Pip and Herbert lodge Magwitch in order to hide him.
Magwitch's onetime partner in crime. It is his fault Magwitch is sentenced to prison. He becomes an informant to the police and helps recapture Magwitch.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on Great Expectations".
. 11 May 2008