Pessim is an old man who lives alone on Pessim's Island.
He is called the Observer, since he observes everything he sees.
Pessim is a little man with a long, pointed beard. He finds fault with everything, complaining that the trees are too green, the rocks are harder than they ought to be, and the water is dreadfully wet.
He lives in a shed that is really just a roof of boughs built over a square space. Some branches of trees are fastened to the sides to keep off the wind. It is open to the front and faces the sea.