Study Guide

The World According to Garp Characters

By John Irving

T.S. Garp

Although we like the guy, even we must admit that T.S. Garp can be a bit insufferable at times....

Jenny Fields

Although The World According to Garp is ostensibly about Mr. Garp—it's named after the...

Helen

With the novel's focus on Garp, it's easy to forget how important Helen is. Over the course of...

Alice and Harrison Fletcher

Alice and Harrison are a gender-reversed, parallel-universe version of Garp and Helen. Just slap...

Dean Bodger

Dean Bodger is one of the few father figures in Garp's early life.We learn this in the aftermath...

Duncan

Duncan is Garp and Helen's first child, and he grows up to be one odd bird.In many ways, he's a...

Ellen James

At first, we only know Ellen James as the inspiration behind the Ellen Jamesians. And guess what?...

Ernie Holm

If Ernie had a theme song, it'd the sad music from Charlie Brown. The poor guy gets no breaks....

Jenny Garp

We never really get to know Jenny Garp, but as her name implies, she's the perfect mix between...

John Wolf

In a book filled to the brim with feminists, intellectuals, and tough women, John Wolf is a "a...

Michael Milton

Michael is very insecure, and this insecurity leads him to do some pretty horrible things.The guy...

Mrs. Ralph

It's telling that we don't learn Mrs. Ralph's real name until after Garp's death—despite...

Roberta

In a book all about gender, Roberta has a better understanding of the subject than most.Although...

The Percys

The Percys are like the Malfoys: old-money snobs who think that "blood" is the only thing that...

Walt

Let's take care of the elephant in the room: Walt's death is a huge bummer. In the chapter...