The Sandcastle Questions and Answers
by Iris Murdoch

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Who are the characters in The Sandcastle by Iris Murdoch? This is a study guide question posted by eNotes Editorial. Please write a separate paragraph of analysis for each key character you discuss.

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The Sandcastle is a novel by British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch. It has nine characters.

William Mor

William or Bill Mor is the main character. He is a married middle aged Latin and History teacher and housemaster at St. Bride's. As an agnostic, he is unable to become the school headmaster. He wants to enter politics as a Labour Party candidate, but his wife Nan strongly opposes this. Bill falls in love with Rain Carter, a young painter. He tries to leave his wife, but his son disappears and he loses Rain. The Mor family members are together at the end of the novel.

Nan Mor

Nan Mor, Bill's wife and mother of their two children, dominates her husband. When she fears losing her husband, she changes her mind and becomes committed to her husband's new political career.

Rain Carter

Rain Carter is a lovely young painter hired for the headmaster Demoyte's retirement portrait. She falls in love with Bill but believes he will never leave his family. When she find out Bill's political plans, she decides to return alone to France and her career.


Demoyte is the elderly retiring headmaster of St. Bride's—dominating but generous. He is attracted to Rain, but is Bill's friend and encourages their affair. He also encourages Bill's political ambition.

Felicity Mor

Felicity Mor is Bill and Nan's daughter. She is depicted as secretive and hard to get along with: wanting to attend university while her mother thinks she should be a secretary.

Donalf Mor

Donald Mor is Bill and Nan's son. While his father wants him to go to university, he decides to become a jeweler and avoids the entrance exams. His son's disappearance leads Bill to decide not to leave his wife.

Tim Burke

Tim Burke is an Irish jeweler, a Labour Party official, and Bill's friend.


Bledyard is the devoutly Christian art master at St. Bride’s, a comic figure in the novel.

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