Private Peaceful

by

Michael Morpurgo

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Molly is a childhood friend to Charlie, Tommo and Big Joe, and later marries Charlie and has his baby, whom they name Little Tommo. Both Charlie and Tommo are very fond of Molly throughout their childhood, and she is kind, sweet, and loyal to them in return. In fact, she almost immediately becomes part of the Peaceful family because she visits so much. The boys and Molly are inseparable until Charlie and Molly fall in love, causing a rift between them and Tommo, as Tommo is also madly in love with Molly. In fact, Tommo’s love for Molly endures throughout the novel. This is why Charlie asks Tommo to go back and look after Molly after he is executed, because he knows that Tommo still loves her. Even when Tommo at one point meets and falls in love with another girl named Anna, he often imagines Molly’s face in his mind instead of Anna’s. Molly’s mother and Molly’s father are both cold and harsh, as they throw their daughter out of the house upon learning of her pregnancy. Mrs. Peaceful warmly welcomes Molly into their home, and she becomes an instrumental part of the family. At the end of the novel it is implied that after Charlie’s death, Tommo will try to go back and live with her and the baby.

Molly Quotes in Private Peaceful

The Private Peaceful quotes below are all either spoken by Molly or refer to Molly. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Private Peaceful published in 2003.
Chapter 6 Quotes

He told me once […] that your father was up in Heaven and could still see us easily from where he was. He was pointing upwards, I remember, and I didn’t understand exactly what he was trying to tell me, not at first. I thought he was just pointing up at the sky in a general sort of way, or at the birds maybe. But then he took my hand and made me point with him, to show me. We were pointing up at the church, at the top of the church tower. It sounds silly, but I think Big Joe believes that Heaven is at the top of the church tower.

Related Characters: Molly (speaker), Big Joe Peaceful
Related Symbols: Church Towers
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“He wouldn’t do that, Moll. It’s just a threat,” Charlie said. “He can’t do it. He just can’t.”

“He would,” Molly replied, “and he can. You know he can. And when the Colonel gets it into his head to do something, and he’s in the mood to do it, he will. Look what he did to Bertha. He means it, Charlie.”

Related Characters: Charlie Peaceful (speaker), Molly (speaker), The Colonel
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Private Peaceful LitChart as a printable PDF.
Private Peaceful PDF

Molly Character Timeline in Private Peaceful

The timeline below shows where the character Molly appears in Private Peaceful. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Five Past Ten
Courage Theme Icon
...to tie his own laces, so the teacher asks the girl sitting next to him, Molly, to help. Molly ties up Tommo’s laces, and then smiles at him. Tommo finally relaxes,... (full context)
Chapter 2: Twenty to Eleven
Courage Theme Icon
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Molly comes over to Tommo after the fight and carefully cleans up his wounds. She then... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
From this moment on, Molly practically becomes one of the Peaceful family. She comes home with Tommo and Charlie nearly... (full context)
Chapter 3: Nearly Quarter Past Eleven
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
While Grandma Wolf seems to hate the boys, she likes Molly. She claims that Molly has been raised well, by which she really means that Molly... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
On Big Joe’s birthday, Molly brings him a special present. It is a little brown box with air holes in... (full context)
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...in her house,” and the children realize that she has killed Big Joe’s beloved mouse. Molly shouts at Grandma Wolf, telling her that she is a “cruel, cruel woman” who will... (full context)
Courage Theme Icon
...income, given that Mrs. Peaceful is no longer working. Everyone is getting hungry, so Charlie, Molly, and Tommo decide to go poaching on the Colonel’s land. It is Charlie’s idea, and... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Tommo, Charlie and Molly often roam the countryside after school. They swim and race through the fields, but Tommo... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
One day, Molly and Charlie take off all their clothes and go swimming together, but Tommo feels too... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Everything goes well for a year or two, until Molly falls ill. The boys learn that she has scarlet fever and try to visit her... (full context)
Chapter 4: Ten to Midnight
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
One evening, Charlie and Tommo go poaching, but they have to go without Molly, as she is still ill with scarlet fever. It is the first time they have... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
...a dog named Bertha. Tommo claims that Bertha’s big eyes are the same color as Molly’s, so she reminds him of her. (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
On the last weekend of their punishment, the boys return home to find Molly waiting in their house. Her hair is shorter, and Tommo says that “she wasn’t a... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Again, Tommo starts feeling left out with Charlie and Molly, because they are outgrowing him. Molly moves up to Charlie’s older class at school, and... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Tommo barely sees Molly anymore because she works so much, and when he does see her she seems different,... (full context)
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Tommo recalls one rare occasion when he felt like a “threesome” with Molly and Charlie again. The three have just been fishing in a field, when suddenly they... (full context)
Chapter 5: Twenty-Four Minutes Past Twelve
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...and the freedom from the Colonel. However, Charlie isn’t happy, and neither is Tommo, because Molly has stopped visiting. Mrs. Peaceful is sure that someone must have told Molly’s parents about... (full context)
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Charlie keeps trying to see Molly. He visits her cottage, but Molly’s parents won’t even answer the door. One day, Charlie... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
As he is turning to leave, Tommo spots Molly frantically waving to him from a window. She sneaks out, and they meet down the... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Tommo gives Molly the letter, which she opens, and tells Tommo to say “yes” to Charlie in response.... (full context)
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Over the next few months, Tommo delivers dozens of letters between Molly and Charlie, which he doesn’t mind as it means he gets to see Molly frequently... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
One day, Tommo and Charlie return home to find Molly and Molly’s mother waiting for them at their house. Molly looks as though she has... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
...at least until Charlie admits to him that he should have told him about meeting Molly. The reason he couldn’t tell Tommo, Charlie says, is that he knows, as Molly knows,... (full context)
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...killed her. The Colonel is standing outside Mr. Peaceful’s disused shack, from which Charlie and Molly have now emerged together. Molly screams at the Colonel, asking him in horrified disbelief why... (full context)
Chapter 6: Nearly Five to One
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
...overnight, and by the next afternoon everyone is on the brink of giving up hope. Molly suddenly has a thought about where Big Joe “would most want to be,” which, she... (full context)
Chapter 7: Twenty-Eight Minutes Past One
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
...an evening a few weeks later, Tommo and Charlie come home from work to find Molly crying in their house, being comforted by the boys’ mother. The boys are surprised and... (full context)
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
Charlie and Molly are married shortly afterwards in the village church, although only the close family and the... (full context)
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
Tommo finds that he avoids spending time with both Charlie and Molly after the wedding, as he no longer knows what to say to them. He wants... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...at the Peaceful cottage again. The boys don’t know what the Colonel has said until Molly tells them that he has decided that every able man on his estate should enlist... (full context)
Chapter 9: A Minute Past Three
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
...think about the girl that night. Still, he finds that her face keeps turning into Molly’s in his mind. (full context)
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
...Nevertheless, there are a few comforts. The Peacefuls have received letters from their mother and Molly, who have also sent “knitted woolen scarves and gloves and socks.” The men also have... (full context)
Chapter 11: Nearly Four O’Clock
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
...if Tommo can read his out to him instead. Mrs. Peaceful’s letter contains news of Molly’s newborn baby boy, who has been named Thomas, or Little Tommo, in honor of Tommo.... (full context)
Chapter 12: Five to Five
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
...after things” for him if things go badly. He wants Tommo to take care of Molly and the family. Charlie also gives Tommo his watch, telling him to take care of... (full context)
The Injustice of War Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...He is thrilled to see Tommo. He reads Tommo a letter he has received from Molly all about their baby (Little Tommo). Molly and the family have no idea about Charlie’s... (full context)