The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym Characters

Edgar Allan Poe

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

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...

(The entire section is 445 words.)