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Written by Claire Cornwall
Pippi is the eponymous protagonist of the book and is the most spontaneous and lively child one could ever imagine. She personifies what every child is secretly like inside with regards to having fun and wanting to be able to make their own rules instead of having to obey rules set for them. Pippi is one hundred per cent logical and does not understand why things have to be so complicated. Because she has no adult on her life she is vaguely aware of the need for one and so acts as her own adult by telling herself to go to bed, or to behave properly. She has no concept of the hierarchical difference between adults and children, not understanding why she is not allowed to participate in the grown-up's afternoon tea party. She is fierce, brave and very matter-of-fact, accepting everything at face value. She is very friendly and adores her friends Annika and Tommy, definitely the leader of the trio.
Pippi tells the most incredible stories about her adventures with her father and although they all seem like colossal fabrications many are actually true, although it is hard to tell the difference, and even Pippi cannot tell which are real and which are not. She is a gifted storyteller with a wild and vivid imagination.
Physically, Pippi is very striking, wearing enormous shoes that hold great sentimental value and generally dressing like a child would when dressing themselves, wearing things because she likes them rather than because they match. She is a tall, lanky girl and has inexplicable strength so much so that she can lift both people and large animals without difficulty. She is also as brave as she is strong and although she seems to have great fun and enjoyment of her life she also has an air of sadness and reminiscence, clearly missing her father and thinking a great deal about their adventures together.
Annika lives next door to Pippi and is one of her two best friends. Annika is an outgoing and friendly girl who, though very happy with her brother Tommy being her chief friend and playmate, is nonetheless delighted to have a new friend in Pippi. Annika definitely looks up to Pippi and is in awe of her bravery and her ability to embrace fun. Annika is a well-behaved girl who obeys adults and abides by rules but is clearly a little envious of Pippi's not having to go to school. Annika is quite sensible but easily influenced by Pippi to step out of her comfort zone, for example when it comes to hunting for ghosts. She is not self-conscious to show when she is afraid and is comfortable in the role of least adventurous of the three friends.
Tommy is Annika's brother and Pippi's other best friend. He enjoys their friendship as Pippi creates adventures that he loves to participate in. Tommy also loves to get dirty which he is rarely permitted to do, another reason why he enjoys playing with Pippi. Tommy envies the fact Pippi does not go to school and he would rather be having fun at home than being at school who h he finds rather boring; Tommy wanted Pippi to start attending with them primarily because he thought it might make school more interesting. Tommy is quite the gentleman and is protective of his sister; he would be quite prepared to be protective of Pippi as well but in reality their roles are usually reversed and Pippi is the one making sure he and Annika are alright.
Mr Nielsson is a small monkey whoever with Pipi and is her only living family. He sleeps on a small doll bed and takes pride in his rather spectacular closet of clothes. He is particularly partial to hats. He is a loyal companion to Pippi but has a willful streak and is prone to getting sidetracked and wandering off by himself. He is a brave monkey and ready to step in whenever needed, being instrumental in Pippi's dramatic rescue of two children from a burning house.
We never meet Pippi's father because he was lost overboard in a storm at sea, although Pippi believes he made it safely to an island and will eventually find a way to come home. He is a sailor and adventurer and clearly the most profound influence in Pippi's life even in his absence. He taught her to be bold and adventurous and he is present in her life every day both in the example he set her and in the memories she delights in that are often inspired by looking through the collection of treasures they discovered together.
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