Great Expectations

Great Expectations


Charles Dickens

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Great Expectations makes teaching easy.

Great Expectations Characters

Pip Pirrip

The novel's hero, Pip is an orphan who lives with his harsh and selfish sister Mrs. Joe and serves as the apprentice of her gentle blacksmith husband Joe. Pip is sensitive and intellectually curious… read analysis of Pip Pirrip

Provis (a.k.a. Abel Magwitch) (a.k.a. the convict)

The escaped convict Pip helps in the novel's opening scenes, Provis' gratitude towards Pip inspires him to devote his life-savings to Pip, becoming Pip's anonymous patron. Born an orphan on the streets and cruelly swindled… read analysis of Provis (a.k.a. Abel Magwitch) (a.k.a. the convict)

Estella Havisham

The adopted daughter of Miss Havisham, Estella is proud, refined, beautiful, and cold, raised by Miss Havisham to wreak revenge on the male sex. Though her beauty and elegance attract countless suitors (including Pipread analysis of Estella Havisham

Joe Gargery

As Mrs. Joe's husband, Joe is a father figure for Pip throughout Pip's childhood and his tender kindness protects Pip from Mrs. Joe's harsh parenting. Joe is the village blacksmith and has no formal… read analysis of Joe Gargery


An orphan Pip meets at the village school, Biddy moves into the forge to help out after Mrs. Joe's attack and later becomes a schoolteacher. She is humble, kind, moral, and fiercely intelligent, absorbing… read analysis of Biddy
Get the entire Great Expectations LitChart as a printable PDF.
Great Expectations PDF

Miss Havisham

The wealthy daughter of a brewer, Miss Havisham was abandoned on her wedding day by her fiancée (Compeyson) and, traumatized. She preserves herself and her house in wedding regalia, shutting out the world… read analysis of Miss Havisham


As Mr. Jaggers' clerk, Wemmick models his character on Mr. Jaggers while in the office where he is rational, unemotional, and money-minded. Yet when Wemmick is at home, his personality changes dramatically and he is… read analysis of Wemmick

Mrs. Joe Gargery

Pip's older sister and guardian after his parents' die, Mrs. Joe is fiery, tyrannical, and false, harping on her own victimhood even as she abuses Pip and Joe. She is obsessed with social… read analysis of Mrs. Joe Gargery

Compeyson (a.k.a. the other convict)

A cruel, scheming villain, Compeyson is a forger and counterfeiter who uses his educated, upper-class appearance to trick people into thinking he is more honorable and less guilty than the lower-class criminals (like Provis)… read analysis of Compeyson (a.k.a. the other convict)
Minor Characters
Herbert Pocket (a.k.a. the pale young gentleman)
Pip's best friend, Herbert is compassionate, honest, and unpretentious. He and Pip live together in London where he works in a counting house, then as a merchant. He cheerfully helps Pip through all of Pip's struggles. Pip secretly invests in Herbert's career to help Herbert succeed as a merchant.
Mr. Jaggers
A famous lawyer in London, Mr. Jaggers is Pip's guardian and the middleman between him and his patron. Mr. Jaggers also works for Miss Havisham. He is rational, sharp-minded, and intimidating. He prides himself on neither expressing nor responding to human emotion.
Mr. Pumblechook (a.k.a. Uncle Pumblechook)
A corn and seed merchant and Joe's uncle, Mr. Pumblechook is superficial, calculating, and false. He takes undue credit for parenting Pip.
Originally Joe's journeyman, Orlick is devious and violently vengeful. He resents Pip, whom he blames for all of his problems.
Bentley Drummle
Bentley Drummle studies with Pip. He is a wealthy heir to a baronetcy, upper class according to the old system of inherited rank. Described as "idle, proud…and suspicious," Drummle is Pip's nemesis. He pursues Estella.
Startop studies with Pip. Though spoiled by an overprotective mother, Startop is a good-natured and helpful friend.
Matthew Pocket
Miss Havisham's cousin, Herbert's father, and Pip's tutor, Matthew Pocket is honorable, upstanding, and kind.
Mrs. Pocket
Mr. Pocket's helpless, title-obsessed wife and a disastrous mother.
Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt
The incompetent teacher at the village evening school.
Mr. Wopsle
The village church clerk who moves to London to be an actor.
Mr. Trabb
The toady village tailor.
Trabb's Boy
Mr. Trabb's mischievous assistant.
Millers, Flopson and Sophia
Mr. and Mrs. Pockets' harried maids who run the Pockets' household to their own advantage.
Jane Pocket
Mr. and Mrs. Pockets' daughter.
Mr. Jaggers' maid whom Wemmick describes as "a wild beast tamed."
Arthur Havisham
Miss Havisham's resentful half-brother and Compeyson's partner.
Sarah Pocket, Camilla, Georgiana, and Raymond
Miss Havisham's selfish relatives.
The Aged
Wemmick's jolly, nearly deaf father.
Miss Skiffins
The handsome, good-natured woman Wemmick courts and eventually marries.
The Avenger
Pip's servant.
Herbert's fiancé.
Bill Barley
Clara's ogre-like father.
Pip (II)
Joe and Biddy's son.
Mr. and Mrs. Hubble
The village wheelwright and wife.
Mrs. Coiler
Mr. and Mrs. Pockets' neighbor.
Mrs. Whimple
Clara's landlady.