The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

by Edgar Allan Poe

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Arthur Gordon Pym

Arthur Gordon Pym, the narrator, young son of a Nantucket trader in sea stores. Desirous of adventure, he stows away on a whaling ship, the Grampus; helps to overpower and kill the mutineers who seize the ship; becomes briefly a cannibal before he and Dirk Peters are rescued by the Jane Guy; survives with Peters after the slaughter of the captain and all of the crew of the Jane Guy by natives on an uncharted Antarctic island; and dies of an unexplained accident after most of his story had been prepared for publication. How he managed to travel from the Antarctic to the United States is not revealed, as the last part of his story was lost at his death.

Augustus Barnard

Augustus Barnard, his friend, who aids Pym in hiding aboard the Grampus and who shares his experiences and his dangers until he dies from gangrene resulting from an arm wound received in the capture of the ship from the mutineers.

Captain Barnard

Captain Barnard, Augustus’ father, skipper of the Grampus. With four loyal sailors he is set adrift in a rowboat after his ship is seized by the mutineers.

Dirk Peters

Dirk Peters, a sailor on the Grampus. He is the son of an Indian woman and a white trader. Ferocious-looking and grotesquely misshapen—with huge hands, bowed arms and legs, an immense head, and a ludicrously demonic countenance—he at first joins the mutineers but later turns upon them. He helps Pym and Augustus seize the Grampus and becomes a good friend and companion to Pym in all of his later adventures.


Seymour, a black cook, leader of one party of the mutineers.

Hartman Rogers

Hartman Rogers, a mutineer who dies in convulsions after being poisoned by the mate, who leads the other party of mutineers.

Richard Parker

Richard Parker, a mutineer who joins Pym, Barnard, and Peters. He is the first to suggest cannibalism for survival; ironically, he draws the short straw and is killed by Peters.

Captain Guy

Captain Guy, the skipper of the Jane Guy, the schooner that rescues Pym and Peters from the battered hulk of the Grampus.


Too-Wit, chief of a tribe of savages on Tsalal Island in the Antarctic Ocean. Through treachery, the chief and his men entomb by a landslide Captain Guy and all of the Jane Guy’s crew except for six men left on board as well as Pym and Peters, who survive both the landslide and a later attack by the savages.


Nu-Nu, a Tsalal native captured and used as a guide by Pym and Peters in their escape from the island. He dies shortly afterward.

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