The Pecksniffs are the members of the extended Chuzzlewit family in the Charles Dickens novel Martin Chuzzlewit.
A widower with two daughters, Seth Pecksniff is a self-styled teacher of architecture. He believes that he is a highly moral individual who loves his fellow-man, but mistreats his students and passes off their designs as his own for profit. He seems to be a cousin of Old Martin Chuzzlewit. Pecksniff’s rise and fall follows the novel’s plot arc.
Charity (Cherry) Pecksniff.
Seth’s oldest daughter. Charity is portrayed throughout the book as having none of that virtue after which she is named.
Mercy (Merry) Pecksniff.
Mercy, the younger sister, is at first silly and girlish in a manner that’s probably inconsistent with her numerical age. Later events in the story drastically change her personality.
Tom Pinch is a former student of Pecksniff’s who has become his personal assistant. He is kind, simple, and honest in everything he does, serving as a foil to Pecksniff. He carries in his heart an undying loyalty and admiration for Pecksniff. Eventually, he discovers Pecksniff’s true nature through his treatment of Mary, whom Pinch has come to love. Because Tom Pinch plays such a large role in the story, he is sometimes considered the novel’s true protagonist.