by Charles Dickens
Character Role Analysis
Without Jarndyce and his gentle, caring influence, Esther would never really get over the corrosiveness of her childhood. Jarndyce is a mentor who really understands his role with her. His job is just to give her opportunities to succeed – at being a housekeeper, at helping out the less fortunate, at seeing the foibles in others – and then get out of her way. His guidance works because he really believes in Esther's abilities and doesn't let her insecurity and fear affect his own judgment of her. Well done, man!