Introduction of Wickham, his nature and his elopement with Lydia in the novel Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Wickham, on the surface, appears to be a kind, charming, benevolent guy.  He is courteous, friendly, socially skilled and very gentlemanly.  Elizabeth immediately likes him, because she can talk freely with him; his sense of humor is nice, and he is very amiable.  Plus, when she first meets him, she discovers that he is a victim of Mr. Darcy's cruelty, supposedly.  Since Elizabeth had negative feelings towards Darcy already, this made her more fond of Wickham; he too didn't like Darcy, and he too had been victimized by him.  So, they form a bond.

However, through a series of events, Elizabeth comes to find out just how deceptive Wickham is.  His charm and social wit cover up an ungrateful, spiteful, poor man who simply uses people for money in order to fuel his vices.  His charm is a tool to get what he wants.  Darcy reveals that Wickham frivolously spent his inheritance money, then tried to seduce his younger sister into marrying him (for money), and had been on the prowl ever since.

Then, he elopes with Lydia, which is a bit of a mystery, since she doesn't have that much money.  He was perhaps hoping to fanagle himself into some of her uncle's money, but more likely, he just found a willing participant on a foolsigh whim, and acted spontaneously, without thinking.  Darcy and Lydia's uncle have to step in and make things right, trying to patch up the social embarrassment of it all.  So, Elizabeth, through her sister's hasty marriage, is stuck with Wickham for good.

I also provided some useful links below; good luck!

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Pride and Prejudice

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