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Written by Claire Cornwall
Arietty Clock is the only child of Pod and Homily Clock. She is the first in the family to learn how to read and write, having learned from reading the letters on the wall that the family use for wallpaper. Although she comes from a long line of Borrowers she has never gone Borrowing before and is extremely excited about it. To Arrietty the world outside their windowless home is filled with wonder and freedom. She is a loving girl who appreciates her parents but is very lonely and wishes they lived somewhere less claustrophobic where she might have playmates.
Arrietty is inquisitive and bold which is a rather dangerous combination for a girl whose safety depends upon stating out of the way and never being seen. She is trusting and naive although her trust in The Boy turns out to be well-placed. Although her actions jeopardize the family and their home, she does not really understand the consequences of what she believes to be a friendly relationship with The Boy and she is not yet wise enough to understand why it is not safe for her to talk to him when she knows her father talks with Aunt Sophy. Arrietty actually wants to emigrate to the badgers' set and so their story is not as sad to her as it is to her parents.
Pod Clock is husband to Homily and father to Arrietty. He comes from a long line of Borrowers and is probably the most successful at Borrowing of all of them. He is a hard-working, family man whose goal is for his child to have a better life than he did. Pod is daring in his Borrowing, often climbing up and down curtains or on to high furniture using climbing implements that he has made himself. He is starting to feel his age and this more adventurous, physical style of Borrowing is taking a toll on his body.
Pod is very careful about maintaining their secrecy and is devastated when he is seen by The Boy; he feels as though he has let his family down. He does allow himself to be regularly seen by Aunt Sophy, the rich elderly lady who owns the house, and actually has long conversations with her, but he is in no real danger since she believes she only sees him after a couple of drinks too many. Pod is practical and worries that Homily's desire for a fancy home will draw too much attention to their existence.
Homily is Arietty's mother and very proud of her daughter whom she believes to be cultures and educated. She is very encouraging with studies and loves to see Arrietty reading or writing her diary. She is extremely house-proud and believes she is the classiest Borrower of all. She is terrified at the possibility of having to emigrate and in her eyes lower herself to the level of the other Borrowers as she considers herself to be a cut above. She is a hard-working woman who is a very good parent and loves Arrietty dearly.
The Boy is actually the brother of Mrs May who tells her charge, Kate, the story of the Borrowers. He likes Arrietty and her family very much and definitely tries to help them. He seems to like having the secret relationship with the Borrowers as it is an escape from the starchy adults in the house and in Arrietty he has a playmate. He is the hero of the book when he manages to create an airway through the passage under the clock and save the family. As an adult the boy was a war hero who died a heroes death and it is also suggested that he might have been the creator of the Borrowers and made up the story to impress his older sisters.
Aunt Sophy is the elderly lady who owns the big house the Borrowers live underneath. She has a fondness for a few drinks in the evening and consequently has long conversations with Pod, believing him to come out of the decanter when she has had one drink too many. She is bed-ridden and this is one of the reasons Pos has been able to borrow through the downstairs of the house so effectively.
Mrs Driver is Aunt Sophie's housekeeper and a real battle axe. She is mule-headed and feels very superior to other maids that have worked there. She does not seem to like either Aunt Sophie or the boy and is actually quite spiteful to him. She is partial to a little Madeira wine in the evening. Mrs Driver detests the Borrowers and intends to gas them when she calls in the rat-catcher, believing they are a threat to her job security.
Handyman Crampfurl is sounding board for Mrs Driver and enjoys a drink with her in the evenings. He is not the resentful character that she is and seems to be subordinate to her stronger personality.
Mrs May is the storyteller who brings the tale of the Borrowers to life for the little girl she is taking care of, Kate. She has never seen the Borrowers for herself but her brother, The Boy, told her about them, and part of her believes in their existence as she takes them supplies to their new home behind the badger set; she also believes that she smelled hot-pot outside. She also entertains the possibility that her brother made up the entire story to impress her as the way that Arrietty wrote her letter "e" was exactly the same as his. She is a strict but benevolent minder for Kate.
Kate is a nice, playful little girl who is untidy and does not concentrate very well. She is eager to hear about the Borrowers because their existence explains all the little things in the house that get misplaced and need to be purchased over and over again. She finds the story far more interesting than the seeing she is doing whilst the story is told. Kate believes completely in the Borrowers.
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