Clare, the central character of All That Glisters, is a likeable character who is sensitive, caring, and kind. Like other protagonists in some of Donovan’s stories, Clare faces challenging circumstances. She demonstrates her strength of character in her response to her father’s death, remaining true to herself.
In the story, Clare demonstrates the personal sacrifice she is willing to make for her father. She gives up her lunch for a week as a way to afford glitter pens after seeing how her cards cheers up her father.
Her refusal to steal the pens suggests that she is honest and respects her parents. Because she looks up to her father, Clare does not want to disappoint him and this influences her life choices. Just as she is determined to buy the pens, she is also determined on the day of the funeral to celebrate the relationship she had with her father.
Clare is a mature character, an effect of having to deal with a difficult situation. Her maturity is also an effect of how her parents treat her. Her mother and father are straightforward and honest with their daughter, rather than treating her like a child who is unable to understand or deal with difficult situations. She is respectful of adults, demonstrated when she obeys Auntie Pauline without argument.
However, she also proves that she knows her own mind and can make her own choices. She is clever and resourceful, finding a more appropriate way of remembering her father that does not go against her auntie’s command. By covering herself in glitter, she is able to pay tribute to the final conversation she had with her father, in which they shared their appreciation for subtlety in beauty.
Clare is characterised by her positivity. Her narrative includes many adjectives and verbs that highlight the positive way she perceives the world, such as: