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"Belle" Characters Analysis

By Lesley Pearse

historical fiction | 624 pages | Published in 2011

ISBN_13: 9780718157029

Estimated read time: 5 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
JimmyBelle's childhood friend
EttaBelle's grandmother
FreddieBelle's abusive husband
JoeBelle's lover
RubyBelle's best friend
VioletBelle's sister
ArthurBelle's father
MabelBelle's mother
AgnesBelle's daughter

Role Identification

In the book "Belle" by Lesley Pearse, the main character, Belle, takes on the role of the protagonist. She is the central figure in the story and the events revolve around her life, struggles, and triumphs.

Character Descriptions


Belle is a strong-willed and resilient woman who grows up in poverty in London during the early 1900s. She is described as having a striking beauty, with long auburn hair and captivating green eyes. Despite facing numerous hardships, Belle remains determined and refuses to let her circumstances define her.


Jimmy is Belle's childhood friend and confidant. He is depicted as a kind-hearted and loyal companion who supports Belle throughout her journey. Jimmy is described as having a mischievous smile and a playful nature.


Etta is Belle's grandmother and one of the most influential figures in her life. She is portrayed as a wise and compassionate woman who imparts valuable life lessons to Belle. Etta is described as having silver hair and a warm smile.


Freddie is Belle's abusive husband. He is characterized as a cruel and controlling man who mistreats Belle both physically and emotionally. Freddie's appearance is described as rugged, with a scar on his cheek.


Joe is Belle's lover and a pivotal character in her life. He is depicted as a kind and gentle man who offers Belle support and love. Joe is described as tall and handsome, with a warm and comforting presence.


Ruby is Belle's best friend and confidante. She is portrayed as a spirited and vivacious woman who adds humor and joy to Belle's life. Ruby is described as having fiery red hair and a contagious laugh.


Violet is Belle's younger sister. She is depicted as innocent and naive, often relying on Belle for guidance and protection. Violet is described as having delicate features and a timid personality.


Arthur is Belle's father, a hardworking man who struggles to make ends meet for his family. He is characterized as a loving father, willing to sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of his daughters.


Mabel is Belle's mother, a gentle and kind-hearted woman who supports her family in any way she can. She is portrayed as a pillar of strength and resilience.


Agnes is Belle's daughter, who plays a significant role in Belle's character arc. She is depicted as a source of motivation and inspiration for Belle, driving her to create a better life for both of them.

Character Traits

Belle possesses several notable character traits that shape her journey throughout the book. She is fiercely independent, determined, and resilient, never giving up despite the challenges she faces. Belle is also compassionate and caring, often putting the needs of others before her own. She is intelligent and resourceful, using her wit and ingenuity to navigate difficult situations. However, Belle's experiences also reveal her vulnerability and the emotional scars left by her abusive past.

Character Background

Belle's background is one of poverty and struggle. She grows up in the slums of London, facing hardships and adversity from a young age. Her father, Arthur, works tirelessly to provide for the family, but they still live in poverty. Belle's mother, Mabel, is a loving and supportive presence in her life. Belle's childhood is marked by the abuse she suffers at the hands of her husband, Freddie, which ultimately leads her to escape and start a new life.

Character Arcs

Belle's character arc in the book "Belle" is one of personal growth and empowerment. She starts as a young woman trapped in an abusive marriage, devoid of hope and self-esteem. However, as the story progresses, Belle finds the strength to leave her husband and rebuild her life. She becomes a successful entrepreneur, defying societal expectations for women at the time. Belle's journey is also intertwined with her quest for justice and revenge against those who have wronged her. Throughout the book, she learns to trust others, love again, and find happiness despite her troubled past.


Belle's relationships play a crucial role in shaping her character and story. Her bond with her grandmother, Etta, provides her with wisdom and guidance. Belle's friendship with Jimmy offers her a sense of belonging and support. Her relationship with Joe is a source of love and healing, allowing her to experience happiness and trust again. Belle's friendship with Ruby brings laughter and joy into her life. Her connection with her sister, Violet, is one of protection and love. Lastly, Belle's relationship with her daughter, Agnes, is one of unconditional love and motivation.

In conclusion, "Belle" by Lesley Pearse features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique qualities and contributions to the story. Belle, as the protagonist, undergoes a significant character arc, transforming from a victim of abuse to a strong, independent woman. The relationships she develops along the way provide support, love, and growth, ultimately shaping her journey towards empowerment and happiness.