Finnegans Wake Characters

Finnegans Wake Character List


The title character for who the title wake is being thrown. So, yes, Finnegan is dead; the victim of a fall from a ladder. At one point during the narrative, however, Finnegan rises and even threatens to be resurrected.


By turns known as Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker and Here Comes Everybody and Haveth Children Everywhere, HCE is the saloon keeper. HCE has traveled far and wide and not just geographically: his travels have taken him from Troy through the empire of Norse to the Emerald Island. His travels have also seen HCE take on the appearance of characters from history and literature from Oliver Cromwell to Humpty Dumpty. Just in case it was difficult to apprehend; Finnegan’s Wake is not your average novel taking readers from A to Z in a straight linear line. HCE could tell you a few things, so pay close attention.


Married to HCE, she is also known as Anna Livia Plurabelle. Earwicker is Adam to Ann’s Eve, but her most significant (and bizarre) transformation is as River Liffley. As in an actual river that actually flows through the city of Dublin. That transformation takes Ann from a mere babbling brook into a huge flowing river that carries away the rubbish of Ireland out to the sea.

Kevin aka Shaun the Postman aka Chuff aka Jaun aka Yawn

If the level of whimsy that is engendered by the author has not still revealed itself, perhaps it will with the character of Kevin aka….well, you know. Kevin is the extroverted manifestation while Shaun the Postman delivers far more than mere letters; he delivers the deep and profound message written by his brother Jerry. Who, yes, employs several aliases himself.

Jerry aka Shem aka the Penman aka Glugg aka Dolph

Kevin has a twin brother and his name is Jerry. Kevin the extrovert is set off by Jerry the introvert. Both Kevin and Jerry are the offspring of Earwicker and Ann.


The Earwicker clan also feature a daughter. Isobel is sister to Kevin and Jerry. Like her brothers, mother and father, she features in both realistic versions and symbolic versions. The realistic Isobel is a prosaic daughter; the symbolic Isobel takes on not only aspects of Isolde, but becomes the incestuous object of HCE’s lust albeit in his eyes she is less a daughter and more a reincarnation of Ann. Truly, a strange interlude!

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