illustration of two young men standing in 19th century garb and looking at one another

David Copperfield

by Charles Dickens

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"In Case Of Anything Turning Up"

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Last Updated on May 17, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 196

Context: Among the characters that make this novel great is Wilkins Micawber, a perpetually improvident man who considers himself most deserving of good fortune, but who is unwilling to work for it. He lives in a climate of affected dignity and empty respectability and is aided in maintaining his delusions and pretensions by his wife, who states that "Mr. Micawber is a man of great talent. . . ." After Micawber's release from debtor's prison, she reports that her family, in Plymouth, feels that he should come to their city, where their influence may help him find a suitable job in the customs house. The family influence is not of certain effect, however, and they want him to be at hand when, with the help of luck, a position may be vacant. The situation is typical of the haphazard and shoddy manner in which Micawber's life proceeds.

". . . The influence of my family being local, it is their wish that Mr. Micawber should go down to Plymouth. They think it indispensable that he should be upon the spot."
"That he may be ready?" I suggested.
"Exactly," returned Mrs. Micawber. "That he may be ready, in case of anything turning up."

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