Who are the major characters in The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Graveyard Book by Neil Gamain, the major characters include first Bod ("Nobody") Owens, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Owens, Silas, Miss Lupescu, Liza Hempstock, Jack (the murderer), and Scarlet.

Bod is short for "Nobody." When he is found in the cemetery as a baby, the ghosts of the Owens (husband and wife) who were never able to have children in life, "adopt" Bod and promise to raise him. Silas, who is a guardian ("neither alive or dead"), swears to watch over Bod until he has grown up—he can leave the cemetery to get food for Bod. He roams the earth at night, unlike the other members of the graveyard who cannot leave. Miss Lupescu (a werewolf) is someone Bod takes a dislike to: she is left in charge of Bod while Silas is away taking care of business. Eventually, she saves Bod and he learns a lot from her. Liza Hempstock meets Bod when he mistakenly falls into the Potter's field. Liza is a witch, but likes Bod and takes care of him.

Jack is the murderer in the story. For most of the novel, the reader doesn't know why he killed Bod's family. Jack waits years to find and kill Bod—sure that he is still alive. Finally, Bod makes friends with Scarlet, a young girl he meets first in the graveyard when they are younger. Later, after years pass, Scarlet returns to the surrounding community, and they become friends again. However, they never do learn to see eye-to-eye: Scarlet is a human living in the "outside world," and Bod sees life from the perspective of living within the boundaries of the graveyard. He sees and fights evil that Scarlet cannot imagine.

Bod's "freedom of the graveyard" allows him to move freely throughout the graveyard. The graveyard and its occupants watch over Bod, and he learns his lessons and much of the past from the ghosts that occupy the graves. Bod becomes very fond of those who surround him as he grows, and they care for Bod and most do all they can to protect him.

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The Graveyard Book

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