Who are the main characters in Skellig? Give a brief description of their significance in the text.

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Skellig, written by David Almond , is a work of children's literature that was published in 1998. It tells the story of ten-year-old Michael who, after moving into a rundown house with his parents, finds a strange man living in his garage. There are three main characters in the...

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Skellig, written by David Almond, is a work of children's literature that was published in 1998. It tells the story of ten-year-old Michael who, after moving into a rundown house with his parents, finds a strange man living in his garage. There are three main characters in the story: Skellig, Michael, and Mina.

Skellig is found by Michael living in the garage of his new home. He suffers from arthritis, appears to be homeless, and is surviving only by eating flies. Although Almond never reveals what Skellig is, Michael and Mina discover that he has wings, suggesting he may be an angel. After being cared for by Michael and Mina, Skellig thanks them by helping Michael's critically ill sister, Joy.

Michael, ten-years-old, is the main protagonist in the story. He and his parents have just moved into a rundown house. His sister, Joy, is born prematurely and with a heart condition. He is a serious and anxious boy. However, he is also very kind and, when he finds Skellig in the garage, he takes care of him by bringing him food, beer, and medication for his arthritis. When he meets Mina, Michael learns how to see the world differently.

Mina lives next door to Michael. She is a cheerful, self-confident, and spiritual girl who loves the poetry of William Blake. She is homeschooled by her mother and loves the freedom of birds and nature. She teaches Michael about spirituality, nature, and happiness.

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Michael and Mina are clearly the main characters of this excellent novel, as it is they who care for Skellig and are part of his resurrection. Michael is a ten year old boy who has been made solemn and serious by life, and is clearly juxtaposed with the carefree Leakey and Coot, who are shown to live a life that is free from responsibility and characetrised by joy. The turning point in Michael's life comes because of his sister and the possibility that she might die. This is something that turns him into a serious and anxious boy who has to reassure himself that his baby sister is still living by going into his parents' bedroom at night and touching her hair and skin.

Mina couldn't be more different from Michael. She lives just down the lane from him and is very self-confident. Her significance comes from the way that her friendship with Michael contributes to his blossoming, in particular concerning her observations about nature and the wonders that go on around them. She is homeschooled, and as a result attacks the traditional school system, saying that it stifles and detracts from exploring interests, such as her interest in William Blake. She regards Skellig with an eye for analysis, believing that he may represent an evolutionary phase between man and the ability to fly, but her scientific stance does not prevent her from being open to the wonder of what these children experience. Just as Michael gains a wider vision on life from Mina, so Mina is encouraged by Michael's openness to move from merely observing life to actually living and experiencing it.

 

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