Literary Orphans

There sure are a lot of them. It’s an enduring theme in literature…abandoned children, left parentless, and have to face the World All On Their Own. Some turn out better than others. Here, I’ve named ones whose parents died when they were children/adolescents.

  • Oliver Twist
  • David Copperfield
  • Mary Lennox
  • Harry Potter (is he the most famous? Discuss)
  • Cosette (Les Miserables) 
  • Sara Crewe
  • Quasimodo
  • Jane Fairfax (in Emma)
  • Liir (Elphaba’s son in The Wicked Years series)
  • Mowgli (Jungle Book)
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White
  • Dorothy Gale
  • Heathcliff
  • Jane Eyre
  • Peter Pan
  • Ada and Richard Clare
  • Harriet (also from Emma)
  • Christine Daae
  • Samantha Parkington
  • Nellie O’Malley
  • Anne Shirley
Anyone else I’m missing?
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