Can You Guess These Classic Novel Characters From a Single Sentence?


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

World literature is very rich in characters that transcend time, era, and generations. Name a classic novel and it's a sure thing that its characters would be memorable for their personalities and the intriguing situations in which they found themselves. But can you guess who's who in literature, when we mention just one fact or line about them? Take this quiz and find out!

This spunky Pride and Prejudice heroine also responds to the nicknames Eliza or Lizzy.

Elizabeth Bennet is the protagonist in the 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice. That masterpiece was penned by Jane Austen.


He’s the first angsty teenager to appear in the 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye.

J.D. Salinger is the author who gave life to Holden Caulfield. This pivotal character is the anti-hero of his novel, The Catcher in the Rye.


She’s the feisty lady condemned to wear the letter "A" for Adulterer or Adultery by her puritanically conservative society.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter, features Hester Prynne as the condemned woman who had to suffer for her adultery.


He’s the ideal father of Scout and ideal lawyer for the unjustly oppressed in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Atticus Finch is the dependable dad of Scout and Jem in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The film and characters tackled racism in Alabama, as penned by author Harper Lee.


When you’re a young person with a very, very positive attitude and outlook on life, then this novel character’s name fits your description, as it fit her.

Pollyanna is the title character of the 1913 novel penned by Eleanor H. Porter. Since this falls under children’s literature, that might explain the very positive attitude that Pollyanna has — which, in today’s cynical modern times, might not fly as much.


He’s the curious and highly intelligent British private detective who sometimes works with an assistant named Watson.

Sherlock Holmes is the hero of many whodunit novels penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s cool to know he’s still relevant today, given that he first appeared in literature back in 1887!


This student teen achiever sidelines as a detective in her spare time, drawing in her friends to solve various mysteries.

Nancy Drew is a character that starred in many young adult novels of the 1930s. While an author named Carolyn Keene is listed on the books, that’s actually a pseudonym since the books are penned by many ghost writers.


He’s the one who says “Bah, humbug!” to all things Christmas.

Ebenezer Scrooge became the "poster boy" of people who hate Christmas. This character came out of a 1843 novella penned by Charles Dickens.


This teen boy knows how to “work” by passing on the work to other kids.

Tom Sawyer is the smart, slash, smart aleck character of the novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This book was written by Mark Twain and was published in 1876.


He’s the “feeling God" doctor who created life by creating his own creature — who turned out to be a monster.

Dr. Victor Frankenstein is the protagonist of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein. While the novel was published in 1818, its classic themes still resonate with modern society, as versions of it continue to be remade and reimagined.


The omnipresent “character” overlooking the totalitarian state of Oceania who, as they say, “is watching you!"

Big Brother is the symbolic character created by George Orwell in his dystopian novel, 1984. The novel, published in 1949, surprisingly characterized many truths that our current world now lives — from fiction to fact!


Virginia Woolf’s gender-changing character who also transcends time and hops from one century to another.

Orlando is the title character featured in the 1928 novel, Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf. It’s considered as one of the earliest novels to tackle nuances of gender identity and gender transformations.


This young royal from an asteroid converses philosophically about life and its nuances with a pilot who got stuck in a desert.

The Little Prince is the titular character of the novel with the same title. It was penned by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The original French novella was published in 1943, but still enthralls and enchants modern-day readers.


He’s the eccentric and colorful owner of a factory that produces yummy treats children love.

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka character is probably one of his most memorable creations. He is featured in the novel for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was published in 1964. It is considered a classic in the genre.


She’s the preteen orphan girl sent to a Canadian couple who originally wanted to adopt a boy.

Anne Shirley is the orphan preteen protagonist of the novel, Anne of Green Gables. This was penned by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908. Her story became timeless and its characters well-loved in her native land and the world over as well.


The little hobbit that could — throwback to its origins the one ring that will rule them all.

Frodo Baggins is the unlikely protagonist who underwent a serious case of hero’s journey in The Lord of the Rings book series by author J.R.R. Tolkien. The timeless tale of his heroism transcends mediums as well, having been adapted to TV and film.


The Charlotte Bronte heroin who's not afraid to speak her mind and fall in love with the master, Mr. Rochester.

Jane Eyre is Charlotte Bronte's 1847 novel. It's always referenced as an example of "proto-feminism" regarding its strong-willed women's themes.


The Spanish novel about a kind of insane nobleman who tries to revive all things chivalrous and knightly.

Don Quixote is a pivotal Spanish work penned by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It was published in the early 1600s.


The Dickensian female orphan raised in the bitter likeness of her adopted maternal figure, Miss Havisham.

Like Alanis Morissette sang, "I'm like Estella; I like to reel it in and then spit it out." That's Estella Havisham of Great Expectations for ya!


Truman Capote's New York socialite wannabe who eats a meal in front of a jewelry store.

Holly Golightly is Truman Capote's heroine in Breakfast At Tiffany's. The novella was published in 1958.


"As God is my witness, I shall never go hungry again," so declared this Southern belle.

Scarlett O'Hara is the protagonist in Gone With The Wind. The epic novel was penned by Margaret Mitchell. It was published in 1936 and became a best seller.


The boy who doesn't really want to grow up.

Peter Pan is a creation of author J.M. Barrie. He appeared in numerous plays and in a novel.


The self-made rich man who throws lavish house parties on the east coast during the roaring '20s.

Jay Gatsby is the protagonist and also the mysterious central character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby. This is a classic in American literature.


The romantic duality of being the hero-villain love interest of Catherine Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights.

Heathcliffe is the romantic hero of Wuthering Heights, penned by Emily Bronte. However, this romantic lead also has a dark side, and the novel unravels him, from start to finish.


The most memorable of the March sisters in Little Women.

Jo March is the strong-willed eldest sister of the March sisters in the novel, Little Women. It was penned by Louisa May Alcott, herself a strong-willed female author and thinker.


He has gotta pick a pocket or two in Dickens' Oliver Twist.

The Artful Dodger is the proud pickpocket who belongs to a gang of pickpockets in London. They are characters from the imagination of Charles Dickens.


The blinding light type of baddie in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

The White Witch is found in the volumes within the series called The Chronicles of Narnia. They were all penned by C.S. Lewis.


You're a salesman who wakes up one morning to find yourself transformed into a giant vermin of sorts, like a cockroach or something.

Gregor Samsa is the protagonist in The Metamorphosis. The classic novella was penned by Franz Kafka and was originally published in German.


"There's no place like home," said this dimension-traveling Kansas native.

Dorothy Gale is the protagonist of many Oz novels penned by L. Frank Baum. But she's most remembered in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which was published in 1900.


He's the mentally unstable character with a heart as big as his size in Of Mice and Men.

Lenny Small is the character in John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men, who ends up with a sad fate with his friend, George Milton. No spoilers! Read it!


The very proud captain of the ship, who went down with Moby Dick, the whale.

Captain Ahab is the self-proclaimed nemesis of Moby Dick in the 1851 novel by Herman Melville. I mean, come on, you can overthrow a whale? Don't think so!


The con artist anti-hero of Patricia Highsmith's Ripliad crime novels.

Tom Ripley is a creation of crime novelist Patricia Highsmith. The duplicitous character appeared in The Talented Mr. Ripley and in four other novels that create what's called a "Ripliad."


Mark Twain's adventurous Southern teen character who witnesses Deep South racism firsthand.

Huckleberry Finn is the titular character of Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It's actually the sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, since Tom and Huck are friends.


He is the English secret service debonaire agent/spy in Ian Fleming's 1959 novel, Goldfinger.

James Bond is author Ian Fleming's huge contribution to pop culture. The books are a hoot; so are the film versions.


H.G. Wells' title character is very obvious even if he can't be seen!

When a scientist successfully experiments on himself and turns himself invisible, then you're in H.G. Wells' 1897 novel, The Invisible Man. The timeless plot has been adapted in other pop culture references.


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