Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Mr. Samuel Pickwick
Mr. Samuel Pickwick, the stout, amiable founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. An observer of human nature, a lover of good food and drink, and a boon companion, he spends his time traveling about the countryside with his friends, accepting invitations from local squires and dignitaries, pursuing Mr. Alfred Jingle in an effort to thwart that rascal’s schemes, and promoting his friends’ romances. The height of his development occurs at the Fleet Prison where, because of a breach-of-promise suit, he observes human suffering and learns to forgive his enemies. A rather pompously bustling and fatuous person at first, he grows in the course of events to be a truly monumental character.
Mr. Nathaniel Winkle
Mr. Nathaniel Winkle, the sportsman of the group. Inept and humane, he finds himself involved in hunting misadventures, romances, and duels. In the end, he wins Arabella Allen, his true love, over the objections of her brother, her suitor, and his own father.
Mr. Augustus Snodgrass
Mr. Augustus Snodgrass, the poetic member of the Pickwick Club. Although he keeps extensive notes, he never writes verses. Eventually he gains his sweetheart, Emily Wardle, after several visits to Manor Farm.
Mr. Tracy Tupman
Mr. Tracy Tupman, a rotund member of the Pickwick Club, so susceptible that he is constantly falling in and out of love. Longing for romance, he finds himself thwarted at every turn. His flirtation with Miss Rachel Wardle ends dismally when she elopes with Mr. Alfred Jingle.
Mr. Wardle, the owner of Manor Farm, Dingley Dell, the robust, genial, but sometimes hot-tempered host of the four Pickwickians. A patriarch, he rescues his sister from Mr. Jingle at the cost of one hundred and twenty pounds, and he objects at first to his daughter’s romance with Mr. Snodgrass. Finally, he gives the young couple his blessing.
Miss Rachel Wardle
Miss Rachel Wardle, a woman of uncertain age. She flirts coyly with the susceptible Mr. Tupman but abandons him for the blandishments of Mr. Jingle, who has designs on her supposed wealth. Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Wardle pursue the elopers, Mr. Wardle buys off the rascal, and Miss Wardle returns husbandless to Manor Farm.
Mrs. Wardle, the aged, deaf mother of Mr. Wardle and Miss Rachel.
Emily Wardle, Mr. Wardle’s vivacious daughter, in love with Mr. Snodgrass, whom she eventually marries.
Isabella Wardle, another daughter. She marries Mr. Trundle.
Mr. Trundle, Isabella Wardle’s suitor. Though frequently on the scene, he remains a minor figure in the novel.
Joe, Mr. Wardle’s fat, sleepy young servant. He is characterized by his ability to go to sleep at any time and under almost any circumstances, a trait that both amuses and irritates his master.
Mrs. Martha Bardell
Mrs. Martha Bardell, Mr. Pickwick’s landlady. When he consults her as to the advisability of taking a servant, she mistakes his remarks for a proposal of marriage and accepts him, much to Mr. Pickwick’s dismay. The misunderstanding leads to the breach-of-promise suit. Mr. Pickwick, refusing to pay damages, is sent to the Fleet Prison. After his refusal to pay, Mrs. Bardell’s attorneys, unable to collect their fee, have her arrested and also sent to the Fleet Prison. Her plight finally arouses Mr. Pickwick’s pity, and he pays the damages in order to release her and to free himself to aid his friend Mr. Winkle, who has eloped with Arabella Allen.
Tommy Bardell, Mrs. Bardell’s young son.
Serjeant Buzfuz, Mrs. Bardell’s counsel at the trial, a bombastic man noted for his bullying tactics with witnesses.
Mr. Skimpin, the assistant counsel to Serjeant Buzfuz.
Mr. Dodson and
Mr. Fogg, Mrs. Bardell’s unscrupulous attorneys. Having taken the suit without fee, they have their client arrested and sent to prison when Mr. Pickwick refuses to pay damages after the suit has been decided against him.
Mr. Alfred Jingle
Mr. Alfred Jingle, an amiable, impudent strolling player remarkable for his constant flow of disjointed sentences. He makes several attempts to marry women for their money, but Mr. Pickwick thwarts his plans in every case. He ends up in the Fleet Prison, from which he is rescued by Mr. Pickwick’s generosity. He keeps his promise to reform.
Job Trotter, Mr. Jingle’s cunning accomplice and servant. He is the only person whose...
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