My Favorite Characters in Literature
Atticus & Scout – To Kill a Mockingbird

I’m not saying this is a conclusive list of the most notable characters in Literature. These are, however, the ones that stand out the most in my mind. Of course, your reading list and favorites will be different from mine.  I am advancing this list in hopes that it will generate some discussion. I present my list in no particular order. The characters you see are just how I thought of them. I did consult some other favorite literary character lists, and many of these on appear on several other lists. My favorite characters are Sherlock Holmes and Atticus & Scout Finch (best duo). I only put titles or authors when I thought some readers might not know them. Please look them up if you don’t know. Also, please contact me and send me your feedback. Thanks, Murray.

Don Quixote

Moby Dick

Sherlock Holmes & Mr. Watson

Jay Gatsby, Nick Caraway, Daisy Buchanan ( Great Gatsby)

Dracula & Frankenstein

Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn

Jane Eyre

Robinson Crusoe

Lady Chatterley

Dorian Gray

Ichabod Crane

Bathsheba Everdene (Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd)


Atticus, Scout Finch, & Boo Radley

Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)

Ebenezer Scrooge

James Bond

King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Lady Guinevere

Detective Dupin ( Poe)

Gandalf, Frodo Baggins (Tolkien-Lord of te Rings)

Phillip Marlowe (Raymond Chandler)



King Lear

Shylock ( Merchant of Venice)

Harry Potter

Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo)

Robin Hood

Uncle Tom ( Uncle Tom’s Cabin)

Mowgli (Rudyard Kipling Jungle Book)

Holden Caulfield ( Catcher in Rye(

Leopold Bloom (Ulysses)

Stephen Daedalus (Portrait of an Artist )

Clarissa Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)

The Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)

Nick Adams (Ernest Hemingway)

Bigger Thomas (Native Son by Richard Wright))

Winnie the Pooh

The Cat and the Hat ( Dr. Suess)

Hazel Motes (Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor)

Toad- The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Graham

The Cat and the Hat


Celie, The Color Purple

Charlotte (Charlotte’s Webb)

Rabbit Angstrom (Run Rabbit Run)

The Phantom of the Opera

Josephine March ( Little Women)

Santiago – The Old Man and the Sea

Jake Barnes – The Sun Also Rises

Dean Moriarity – On the Road

Dr. Zhivago

Randle McMurphy, Chief Bromden, Nurse Ratchet (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).


 Murray Ellison received a Master’s in Education at Temple University (1973), a Master’s of Arts in English Literature at VCU (2015), and  a Doctorate in Education at Virginia Tech in 1987. He is married and has three adult employed daughters. He retired as the Virginia Director of Community Corrections for the Department of Correctiona##l Education in 2009. Currently, he serves as a literature teacher, board member, and curriculum advisor for the Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield, Virginia, and is the founder and chief editor of the literary blog, He is an editor for the “Correctional Education Magazine,” and editing a book of poetry written by an Indian mystic. He also serves as a board member, volunteer tour guide, poetry judge, and all-around helper at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond Virginia. You can write to Murray by leaving a Comment or at


Murray Ellison at the Richmond Poe Museum


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