"Dear Nobody" by Berlie Doherty. Summary and Characterisation

Presentation / Essay (Pre-University), 2000
8 Pages

English - Literature, Works

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Berlie Doherty - DEAR NOBODY

Plot: The book ' Dear Nobody ' is about teenage pregnancy. It shows the problems young people have to face in case of a pregnancy like non-acceptance of the society and problems with their parents, who often blame their kids, and can't accept the new situation. The book is also about the problems of growing up, about kids, who have to make future plans and decide what they want to do with their life. And it is about the relation between kids and their parents.

Background: The story takes place in Sheffield, in Great Britain. You can't really guess the time in which the story is set, but I think it takes place in the late 20th century. The people, who occur in the book are members of the middle class. The main characters are teenagers at the age of 18.


CHRIS(TOPHER):He is the boyfriend of Helen. He narrates the book with his point of view He is a very sensitive and cheerful person. Chris loves Helen very much and is afraid of losing her. When Helen tells him about the baby he doesn't realise what this means to his life. He cannot think about it he is just desperate not to lose Helen. In the end, when he sees the baby for the first time, he realises that he wasn't ready for being a father. Christopher has a good relationship to his father. He is very happy about getting to know his mother.

HELEN: She is the daughter of an 'intact' middle class family. She loves music and she wants to visit a music college one day. Helen can't talk with her parents about things like love and sex. When she realises that she is pregnant she can't talk to anybody especially not to her parents. It takes very long until she can overcome her inhibitions and tell it Chris. But Chris can't really help her although he suports her emotionally. Because she can't talk to anybody she starts writing letters to her unborn baby. When her mother wants her to have an abortion she flees from the clinic because she can't kill the person she talks to every day. Helen decides to finish with Chris,that he can take his place at Newcastle University and besides she doesn't feel ready to share her life with him forever. She really would like to have a closer relationship to her mother. That her mother tells her that she has been an illegitimate child brings them closer together because now Helen can understand her mother better.

MRS. GARTON (Helens mother):She is very conservative She isn't really happy about the relationship between Helen and Chris. She thinks that they are too young. When she finds out that Helen is pregnant she wants her to have an abortion because she doesn't want what happened in her childhood to happen again.

MR. GARTON: He works in a library but he has always wanted to become a musician. He has never had the chance to visit a Music college. Now he wants Helen to visit the Music college because he couldn't.

When he gets to know that Helen is pregnant he doesn't know what to do or how to behave but he tries to support Helen.

MR MARSHALL(Chris' father):He loves his two children very much and he tries to help them wherever he can. He couldn't forgive his wife that she has left the family.

JOAN(Chris' mom):She was very young when she married Chris' dad. She was searching more for a Father than for a husband. She feels guilty for having left the family. She is very happy to get to know her son.

Summary: The story starts in October. Chris is sitting in his room when his father comes in and brings him a parcel. It is a present from Helen. The parcel is filled with letters which all begin with the same words: ' Dear Nobody'. Chris starts reading the letters and they take him back to January, where the whole story began. The book is a compilation of what Chris' narrates out of his point of view, and Helen's letters.

It all started in late January, nine months ago. Chris and Helen make love without thinking of contraception. When Chris returns home he starts talking with his father about his mother, who has left the family when Chris and his brother Guy were younger. Chris decides to write her a letter. One month later he gets a reply from his mother named Joan. But she only writes about herself and it looks as if she doesn't want to know anything about her son, who she hasn't seen for years. Chris is very disappointed about her.

The next days Helen behaves very strangely. She doesn't talk much and looks as if she is sick. One day Helen tells Chris that she is probably pregnant. First Chris is shocked, but he says, that he will stay with her whatever she decides to do. At that time Helen writes her first 'Dear Nobody' letter.

She makes a pregnancy test, which is negative .She is very happy about the result and she wants to tell it Chris. But at Chris' place she suddenly faints and because of that she makes another pregnancy test. This one is positive. Helen doesn't know how her life should go on and some days later Helen has a failed suicide.

Helen doesn't dare to talk to her mother. But her mother realises that there must be something wrong with her. She asks Helen if she is pregnant and Helen tells her about it. Her mother wants her to have an abortion. So she takes Helen to an abortion clinic. But Helen flees from the abortion clinic and tells her parents that she wants to keep the baby. For the next time Chris isn't allowed to meet Helen because Mrs. Garton tells him that he mustn't get in touch with Helen any longer. But she can't keep them away from each others. Chris is very happy that Helen has decided to keep the baby. One day the Gartons visit Mr. Marshal because they want Helen and Chris to get married, but then they see that Helen and Chris are too young. In the meantime Helen and Chris visit his mother. His mother is very nice. She tells Chris why she left her family and Chris understands her reasons Joan wants to help Chris and Helen with their baby.

At the beginning of June Chris' and Helen's exams start. When the exams are over Helen closes up with Chris. Chris is completely desperate. He still loves Helen very much and he even has made future plans for them.

One day when Helen talks with her grandmother about the pregnancy. Her grandmother says something strange:" Like mother, like daughter". Helen confronts her mother with what her grandmother has said and her mother tells her that she has been an illegitimate child and that she had a very hard childhood because of that. After that Helen feels closer to her mother than ever before.

In summer Chris makes a cycling trip through France with a friend. After the holidays Chris and Helen get their degrees. Helen gets all As and Chris gets A, B, Cs. Chris' mom writes Helen That she will support her financially. Chris mom and her boyfriend visit Chris' dad. Joan wants to divorce because she wants to marry her boyfriend. They spend some days together with Chris.

In October, on the evening before Chris leaves for university Helen gets contractions. She takes all the 'Dear Nobody' letters she has writen and gives them her brother to take them to Chris. That takes the story back to where it began. After having read the last letter Chris drives immediately to hospital to see Helen and his baby.

Their baby is a girl and they call it Amy. The next day Chris goes to University like he has planned to do. One month later he gets a letter from Helen in which she writes him that she is very happy about her life with their daughter Amy.


Doherty, Berlie: Dear Nobody. 1991.

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"Dear Nobody" by Berlie Doherty. Summary and Characterisation
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Doherty, Berlie, Dear, Nobody
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Johanna Fitzinger (Author), 2000, "Dear Nobody" by Berlie Doherty. Summary and Characterisation, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/95786


  • guest on 6/21/2001


    Es hätte ausführlicher über die Personen berichtet werden können.Nicht im summary der is schon sehr gut, aber die Charackteristik ist etwas knapp.Mann hätte zur Mutter sagen Können dass sie einen nuen Freund hat und in Frankreich lebt!
    Oder die besten Freune erwähnen können und die Geschwister.Allgemein fand ich es doch gut.
    Mfg Steffi
    ps.:Hätts auch nicht besser gemacht glaub ich.

  • guest on 6/21/2001


    Danke, hast mir glaub ich sehr geholfen.
    Hätte ich sicher nicht besser gemacht.

  • guest on 12/18/2001



  • guest on 1/10/2002

    Danke Danke Danke.

    Sauber das du sowas zu dem Buch gemacht hast wir schreiben darüber ne Englischarbeit und hatten keine Lust dieses Buch zu lesen. Du bist unser Retter

  • guest on 1/14/2002


    Find ich klasse, dass du so einen guten aufsatz geschrieben hast, hat mir wirklich aus der Klemme geholfen!!

  • guest on 2/13/2002

    Super, besser könnte es nicht sein!!! (Florian Saßmannshausen).

    Hat mir sehr viel im Englisch unterricht geholfen. Vielen dank!!!
    Jetzt warte ich nur noch auf meine Note!!!

  • guest on 2/24/2002

    Du bist die Beste! Würde dich gerne kennen!.

    Du bist die Beste! Würde dich gerne kennen!

  • guest on 2/25/2002

    für den notfall reichts.

    Die Zusammenfassung ist für meinen Geschmack nicht ausführlich genug, weil es an den Freunden der beiden fehlt, die in dem Buch zwar keine Hauptrolle einnehmen aber doch ein entscheidender Bestandteil des Inhalts sind.
    Auch dir Characktereigenschaften der einzelnen Personen sind nur sehr mangelhaft beschrieben, doch es reicht auf jeden Fall für ein kurzes Statement. Gloreiche Interpretationsideen werden nicht eingebracht aber um auf diese zu kommen bedarf es wohl auch keiner Hilfe, denn dieses Werk ist außerst eindeutig formuliert.
    Um nicht nur über den Autor schlechtes zu berichten, möchte ich auch in einigen wenigen Worten meine Meinung zu dem Buch abgeben: Ich persönlich halte es für sehr unpassend es in einer Klasse zu lesen in der sich auch Buben befinden, da es höchstens langweilig auf sie wirkt (dies ist erwiesen). Das Englisch, dass sie schreibt läßt nicht unbedingt von großer Intelegenz oder Wortgewandheit schließen. Und zum Schluß möchte ich noch sagen,dass dieses Thema die heutige Jugend, zu der ich mich zähle, überhaupt nicht anspricht.

  • guest on 3/4/2002

    Du hast mir sehr weitergeholfen.

    Danke ,dass ud sowas in netz gestellt hast!
    ich hab das buch gelesen und verzweifelt nach einer zumsammenfassung auf englisch gesucht ,zum glück hab ich deine gefunden!

    Bye Anni

  • guest on 3/5/2002



  • guest on 3/6/2002


    Die Zusammenfassung ist echt gut!!!!

  • guest on 3/18/2002

    Du hast mir das Leben gerettet!!!!!!!!!!!.

    Puhhhhhh, so ein Glück, das ich dein Referat gefunden habe. Ich schreibe morgen ne Klausur darüber und hab bis jetzt noch nicht geschafft das Ding zu lesen, da ich noch 3 andere Bücher für die Schule lesen muß. Damit hast du vielleicht einem Ob.-Stufen Schüler die Versetzung gerettet!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ich sag nur eins:Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaankeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • guest on 3/19/2002

    Meine Rettung vor der Englisch Schularbeit!!.

    Super!Die letzte Instanz!

  • guest on 3/19/2002


    Vielen herzlichen Dank

  • guest on 4/8/2002

    DANKE! Danke! Du rettest mein Leben, denn bis morgen zweite Stunde müsste ich das durch haben. Aber so...DANKE!.


  • guest on 4/10/2002

    Das Buch.

    Diese Geschichte hat mich sehr gerührt und ich muss sagen, sie hat auch viel mit der Wirklichkeit zu tun. Das Buch ist mittelmäßig gut zu lesen, da es teilweise endlos lange Passagen beschrieben werden die nicht Handlungsvorrantreibend sind und auch sonst überflüssig sind. Jedoch gibt es auch passagen wo man von dem Buch gefesselt wird und direkt in die Welt von Helen und Chris hineingezogen wird. Alles in allem sollte an dem Englisch von der Summary noch einmal eine Verbesserungskorrektur vorgenommen werden, da auch inhaltliche Aspekte teilweise falsch wieder gegeben werden, sowie dass Grammatikfehler behoben werden sollten.
    Ein Gutes Buch für Judendliche
    MFG Lukas

  • guest on 4/17/2002

    Danke das du deine Hausarbeit hir rein gesetzt hast..


  • guest on 5/27/2002

    Wolla - digges Dange.

    Jo, viiielen Dank!!! Wüsste nicht, wie ich das ohne dich (und dein Summary) machen sollte *bg* Die Charakterisierungen mach ich schon noch selbst, aber den Rest... :)

    Also, vielen Dank!
    Werde auch demnächst auch mal mit meinen Arbeiten beglücken ;)

  • guest on 6/2/2002


    thanx johanna! genauso eine arbeit hab ich seit wochen gesucht!bussi

  • guest on 6/6/2002

    Yosen! ;).

    :) Krasse Action... ned übel das summary... :b hast mir ne menge Arbeit (lesen?!) gespart :P

    Muchas Gracias!

  • guest on 6/10/2002

    tHx GoD.

    morgen englisch klausur, keine seite gelesen und jetzt dieses summary, danke!!

  • guest on 6/15/2002


    genau das was ich gesucht habe

  • guest on 9/2/2002

    The summary is really good.

    Hi, wir lesen das Buch auch gerade im Englisch- LK. Ich finde deine summary gut, weil sie sehr umfangreich ist. Ich hätte sicherlich die Hälfte vergessen, weil mir es nicht wichtig genug erschien.
    Nun habe ich n Anhaltspunkt was alle rein muss. Thanx Lara

  • guest on 9/5/2002


    Durch deine Summary hast du meine Englischnote gerettet. DANKE!!!

  • guest on 9/24/2002

    Feine Sache!.

    Feine Sache diese Inhaltsangabe, die hat es mir erst möglich gemacht das Buch im wesentlichen zu erfassen ohne es lesen zu müssen. Noch dazu wo ich vergessen hatte es zu lesen wobei es ohne diesen Inhalt nie bis morgen (25.09.) geschafft hätte.

  • guest on 3/9/2003


    Du bist die beste ! :-) ! schreib morgen klausur über das buch ! habs erst vorhin durchgelesen und nicht gecheckt ! ich danke dir.... *knuddel*

  • guest on 4/3/2003

    ...schön da ist alles wichtige drin... aber weitergeholfen hat es mir LEIDER nicht---

  • guest on 12/18/2003

    Glück gehabt! *puh*.

    Da muss man doch noch vor den Weihnachts-Ferien am letzten Freitag eine Englischklausur schreiben. Und vergisst die ganz Zeit das Buch zu lesen und dann... machte ich mich auf die Suche und fand diese Seite! Danke! Hat mir super geholfen!

  • guest on 4/8/2007


    Vielen Dank an desn Autor für die umfassende Behandlung von "Dear Nobody"! Äußerst hilfreich!

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