Marianne Sheridan

Outer characterization

Marianne Sheridan is one of the two main characters of the novel Normal People by Sally Rooney. She is a young woman from Carricklea, in the North-West of Ireland. At the start of the novel, she is around 17 or 18 years old and by the end of the novel, she is in her early 20s. She comes from a wealthy family and lives with her mother, Denise, and her brother, Alan. Her father died when Marianne was 13. She goes to Trinity University to study History and Politics. 

Physically, she is described as plain and not particularly attractive, and Connell says some people believe Marianne is “the ugliest girl in school” (p. 24). She has “crooked front teeth” (p. 25) and “long fingers” (p. 72). Connell describes her as “elegant, bored looking, with an impression of perfect self-assurance” (p.81) 

Inner characterization

Marianne does not require outside validation

At school, Marianne is a social outcast and does not have any friends: “She exercises an open contempt for people in school. She has no friends and spends her lunchtimes alone reading novels. A lot of people really hate her” (p.2). This is because she does not care what people think of her and does not need to be liked or popu...

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