Ella Minnow Pea Major Character Analysis

Mark Dunn

Ella Minnow Pea

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Ella Minnow Pea Major Character Analysis


Ella plays a pivotal role in the novel. She may be seen as the “main” character. However, many characters outshine her for most of the novel. Namely,Tassie appears to be a more important character through much of the plot. Ella is young and growing into her own person. Being the namesake of the novel is not a coincidence. In many ways, the novel culminates in highlighting Ella as a hero, though she does not consider herself to be one. Much like the island is Nollop’s namesake, and he is the symbol of the island, Ella becomes the pivotal and key figure of the novel. She finds herself asan individual in a shrinking society, yet she triumphs by connecting to what is most important: her family. 


Tassie becomes a physical embodiment of rebellion. Initially, she is the voice of reason, foreseeing the potential complications surrounding the Council’s decision. She understands the illusion of power the Councilmembers are swept up in. However, love and loss of communication drive her to make the ultimate rebellious move: threatening the Council and their power. Finally, she is truly imprisoned, not just in her head, but in a literal prison cell. She leaves her younger cousin to carry the burden, which can be seen as a cowardly act in the name of love and rebellion.


Amos, perhaps the most overlooked character, treats language efficiently. In the first chapter, after the loss of “z,” he finds a way to use the letter’s sound tauntingly. His focus on his business, which goes against the sense of family in the novel, is important. The jugs, and the profit he expects from them, become the source of the perfect, island-saving sentence (though he does not know it). Although surprising at first, Amos’s position as the crafter of a perfect sentence makes sense if readers re-read his simple, well-crafted letters to his family. 


Tom and Nate are essentially the same character. They both play the same role to the main female characters, Ella and Tassie. Nate, although an outsider, impassions Tassie to the point of threatening the Council. Tom also introduces Ella to…

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