(1812 - 1817), English

Charles Dickens’ Best Characters

Throughout his novels, Dickens crafted numerous well-loved and interesting characters. They helped him further important themes and tell some of the greatest stories ever told.

On this list, readers can explore ten of the best characters Charles Dickens wrote throughout his novels. They include Pip and Miss. Havisham from Great Expectations, David Copperfield from David Copperfield, and Oliver Twist from Oliver Twist. 

Charles Dickens’ Best Characters


Ebenezer Scrooge 

A miserable and cold miser who, at the start of the novel, maligns Christmas, goodwill, and anyone who tries to spread it. Transformed by losses in his past, Scrooge is on a bad path, one that’s rectified when he gets a second chance. He’s guided by three ghosts who help him learn the true meaning of Christmas and the value of helping others, especially those of lesser means. 

Miss. Havisham 

One of the most memorable characters from Great Expectations. Miss. Havisham lives in. Large house, with Estella mourning her past. He was left heartbroken after who she thought was her true love left her at the altar. She wears her wedding dress constantly and has kept her wedding cake for decades. She’s raised Estella to hate men and destroy their hearts. 

Nicholas Nickleby

The protagonist of Nicholas Nickleby. He is an honest and caring young man who is given the task of taking care of his family after his father dies. He defends those he cares about and demonstrates moments of naivety. 

The Artful Dodger

A character from Oliver Twist, whose true name is Jack Dawkins. He’s a pickpocket and member of a gang of child criminals who were trained by Fagin. He becomes Oliver’s friend (but does later betray him). He’s a child, but he acts like an adult throughout much of the novel, wearing clothes that are too big for him and ignoring anything childish. 

Ralph Nickleby 

A central character of Nicholas Nickleby. He’s the protagonist and the uncle of the main character. He’s sarcastic and selfish. He’s also seemingly out to get and embarrass Nicholas at any chance he gets. He eventually kills himself after learning that his son died hating his father. His hard-earned money is given back to the Crown. 

Mrs. Edith Granger Dombey

The daughter of Mrs. Skewton in Dombey and Son. She marries Mr. Domeby and is quite beautiful. But, she is also tormented in her marriage. She tricks Carker into thinking that she wants to run away with him but actually hates him and is using him to escape her marriage.

Betsey Trotwood

Betsey, from David Copperfield, is another well-known and well-loved character. She is David’s great aunt who takes him in after he runs away from his stepfather. She’s a stubborn woman but also generous. She has a negative view of all men and boys, including David. She is based on a real-life woman, Miss Mary Pearson Strong, who Dickens knew. 

David Copperfield

The title character of David Copperfield. He is the most important character in the novel and is often considered to be a version of Dickens himself. David grew up oil the country, though, something that Dickens did not experience. But, both worked in factories at young ages. His childhood is ruined with his stepfather, Edward Murdstone, arrives. Throughout the novel, he tells the first-person story about his life. 

Philip Pirrip 

Philip Pirrip, better known as Pip, features in Great Expectations. He is one of Dickens’ most popular characters and is often cited as one of the most popular characters in English literature. He narrates the story of his life, following it from childhood to adulthood. He learns about his own social station and seeks to change it throughout much of the novel. He also makes later realizations about what and where true happiness comes from. 

Abel Magwitch 

Another character from Great Expectations. He only features in a few moments of the novel, but he is key to helping Pip understand his world (this changes on a few occasions). He later reveals himself to be Pip’s benefactor in London. He wanted to be a contributing member of society throughout his life but was driven to criminality through the circumstances of his life. Magwitch’s death towards the end of the novel allows Pip the opportunity to change the way he had been approaching his life. He’s able to show care and loyalty towards a man who changed his life. 

Bob Cratchit 

An employee of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. He’s poor, happily married, and with numerous children to support. Scrooge underpays him and treats him poorly throughout the beginning of the novel. But, Cratchit continues to carry the Christmas spirit and inspire it in his family. He’s later given a raise and cared for by Scrooge after he is visited by the ghosts. 

FAQs 

What two memorable characters did Charles Dickens create?

Two very memorable characters Dickens created are Ebenezer Scrooge and Miss. Havisham. The latter is from Great Expectations and the former from A Christmas Carol. Both are miserable, but the former changes in a way that the latter is incapable of. 

Which Dickens’ character is famous?

Many of Dickens’ characters are famous. But, Ebenezer Scrooge is perhaps the most famous. His saying “Bah humbug” is as well-known as he is. 

What sort of man was Charles Dickens?

Dickens was an incredibly creative man who had a passion for writing and social reforms. He drew the public’s attention to issues of child labor, public execution, among others. 

Does Pip love Estella?

Yes, Pip falls in love with Esetalla but, due to the way she was raised by Miss. Havisham is incapable of really loving him. But, she does admit that she holds him in higher regard than other men and doesn’t want to break his heart. 

How many characters are in Charles Dickens novels?

Throughout his novels, Dickens created 989 named characters. But, as estimated scholars, there are around 13,000 individuals in all of his books. 

About Emma Baldwin
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues on Book Analysis.
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