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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

TTT: Characters with names that fit their personalities

Top Ten Literary characters with names that fit them.

Charles Dickens seemed to be the master of naming his characters appropriately. Let's see if I can fill out the list using examples from his books. I may need a little help from the Internet since I haven't read all of his books.

Great Expectations
1. Pip (Great Expectations)--- a "pip" is a seed, or a tiny thing. Pip grows into himself throughout the story, like growing up from a planted seed.

2. Oliver Twist (Oliver Twist)---the runaway orphan ends up in a gang of pickpockets and n'er-do-wells. If he continues in this lifestyle he very well may end up being arrested and hanged for his crimes. The term "twist" was used to describe what would happen after a person was hanged. Another interpretation could be that Oliver seems to be able to twist out of several sticky situations.

3. Ebeneezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)---the term "scrooge" probably came from a play on the word screw which meant miser in 19th century lingo.

4. Mrs. Havisham (Great Expectations)---break apart her name into syllables and you get "have-a-sham". Her life is a sham and she inflicts this on Pip when she leads him into thinking she is his benefactor and that Estella loves him.

5. David Copperfield (David Copperfield)---Take the initials, DC, and turn them around, you get CD or Charles Dickens. Dickens mined his own life (Copper-field) for character traits.

6. Mr. Merdle (Little Dorrit)---merde is the French word for excrement. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Mr. Merdle is full of s#*t.

7. Fagin (Oliver Twist)---Fagin is the villain of the book. A fagin is a person who teaches crime to others.

8. Tiny Tim (A Christmas Carol)---not only was he sickly, but the boy was also small for his age, a common problem for poor children of the Victorian age. Scrooge pays Cratchit so little that his children, especially Tim, are sickly and undernourished.

The Artful Dodger by Clarke
9. Mr. Stryver (A Tale of Two Cities)---Stryver is an ambitious lawyer, he is always striving for more. Get it?

10. Artful Dodger (Oliver Twist)---um, this one is so easy I didn't even need notes to figure it out. The boy, a pickpocket, is very good at getting away and not being captured. His given name, Jack Dawkins, could also apply to his skill level...he was a jack of all trades (in the underworld.)

This was fun. Can you think of any other Dickens' characters with fun names which fit their personalities?


16 comments:

  1. Haha I hadn't realized Dickens used French cusswords to name a character, but how appropriate! Great list :)

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    1. I laughed about this, too. I wonder if the English caught on back in the day?

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  2. Great list Anne - I love so many of Dickens' character names. Before I went for my Harry Potter theme, I was thinking of Ebenezer Scrooge for my list. It such an appropriate and iconic name!

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    1. I’d like to make a second list of Harry Potter character names.

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  3. This is a fun list! I can honestly say I'd never given Dickens' character names such thought before.

    Have a great week. - Katie

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    1. I got the idea for this list from an English teacher friend. He said he loved teaching Great Expectations because of the names.

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  4. I never met Pip, but I've always fancied the name. I actually think it would make a cute name for a puppy.

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  5. What a genius idea to focus on one author, and I agree, he had some wonderfully named characters. I think Oliver Twist was full of colorfully named characters.

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    1. I’ve never read Oliver Twist. But want to now.

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  6. This is a fun post. I always forget that Dickens had a sense of humor. ;)

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  7. Dickens sure what a clever man, wan't he?! I hadn't ever thought of all those names in a group like it. I love it.

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  8. I couldn't imagine Scrooge with a different name... :D

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  9. Many English people especially in those times spoke French, so I'm sure they knew. :) Great list!

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  10. I've read that David Copperfield is in many ways a kind of biographical story for Dickens. Either way, it's a good one - and Scrooge is an excellent name for the character. He sounds precisely like his personality. :D

    Thanks for visiting Finding Wonderland.

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  11. Oh I like your little twist. Great list!

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  12. There's Mr. Gradgrind (who grinds out mis-educated graduates) and Bounderby (who's a bounder) in Hard TImes--very unsubtle, but then the book isn't very subtle overall, which is part of why I love it!

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