Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Character Analysis

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Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, Character Analysis

British author Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book is a children’s fantasy that was published in 2008. It is a story about an orphan boy whose family members, including parents, have been brutally murdered by a secret organization called, Jacks of All Trades. The boy child is adopted by ghosts at a nearby graveyard and he is raised there until he is fifteen. He finally decides to leave the graveyard by relinquishing the freedom of the graveyard and to go to the real world to start living.

Let’s briefly explain all the major and minor characters of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. 

Character Analysis of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

Nobody Owens (Bod)

Nobody Owens is the central character of Neil Gaiman’s novel The Graveyard Book. After the brutal murder of his parents and sister, Bod leaves home in search of a safer place thereby reaching a graveyard where he spends the rest of his life in the story.

The Victorian ghosts of Mr. and Mrs. Owens become his foster parents and Silas takes on the responsibility of his guardianship and teacher. When Mrs. Owens says that the living child looks like nobody, everybody agrees to name him Nobody Owens, Bod for short.

The Graveyard Book’s protagonist, Nobody Owens is actually hiding from the murderer of his family and there is no safer place than the churchyard. During his stay at the graveyard, Bod grows by two years every chapter and he gradually learns things by reading epitaphs. Moreover, he also reads books like Cat in the Hat. 

Nobody also meets a real friend, Scarlett Amber Perkins and plays with her. When she moves to Scotland with her family, Bod feels lonely.

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Later, he also goes to school in the world outside the graveyard but cannot stand being bullied by fraud. In return, he practices magic by fading, dream-walking, etc. but he ultimately leaves the school.

Most importantly, he takes revenge upon the Jacks of All Trades by not directly killing but compelling them to die. When the world is devoid of the murderers’ organization, Nobody returns to the world where he rightly belongs.

Jacks of All Trades

Jacks of All Trades is a secret organization that kill the family of Nobody Owens and who are always after Bod. They have members all around the world but the duo of Silas and Lupescu, accompanied by many others kill most of them and only four members are left whom Bod compels to die.

Mr. and Mrs. Owens

Mr. and Mrs. Owens are the Victorian ghosts who agree to become parents of the living boy, Nobody Owens. Though they are the parents they do not have as much responsibility as Bod’s guardians, Silas, and Miss Lupescu.

Silas and Lupescu

Silas and Lupescu are werewolves and they are the guardians of Nobody Owens in The Graveyard Book. Silas is the primary teacher of Bod whereas Lupescu comes when Silas is away. They destroy all other members of the Jacks of All Trades, except four.

The Sleer

The sleers are mysterious creatures who guard the treasure of a knife, a brooch and a cup at the crypt of the graveyard. They are in search of the master of the treasure. They are serpentine who entwine Jack Frost at the last of the story.

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Ghouls

In Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, there are several ghouls who steal corpses and eat. Among the ghouls are the ghosts of Victor Hugo, Harry Truman, Minister of Bath and Wales, Emperor of China, etc. They also lure Nobody Owens by promising to take him to a beautiful city but he manages to escape with the help of Night-gaunts.

Liza Hempstock

Liza Hempstock is a witch in The Graveyard Book. She is hated and discriminated by everyone at the graveyard. Hence, she does not even have a headstone. When Bod meets her, he promises to give her a proper headstone which leads Bod from the graveyard to the real world where he faces a lot of trouble. Liza does not talk properly to Bod towards the end of the story.

 

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