Characters

The main characters of the novel Normal People by Sally Rooney are Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron, two young adults from Ireland. The story follows their relationship as it evolves over four years. 

Marianne is an intelligent young woman with a strong sense of self who is a social outcast in Carricklea but becomes well-liked at university. Despite her confidence and disregard of other people’s opinions of her, she has a lot of self-hatred and believes herself to be fundamentally “wrong”. 

Connell is attractive and smart, which makes him popular in Carricklea. However, he is also shy and is worried about what people think of him. This leads him to struggle with making connections when he gets to university. 

Other important characters in the story are Lorraine, Connell’s mother, Jamie, one of Marianne’s boyfriends, and Peggy, Marianne’s closest friend.

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