Is Mr. Pickwick a Gentleman or a Comic Character?

Mahmut Terci


The Pickwick Papers has been chosen for analysis for several reasons. First, it is the success of this novel that made Charles Dickens one of the best known writers in the Victorian age. Secondly and more importantly, The Pickwick Papers is Dickens’s first novel that has become the seed of his later novels. Thirdly, Dickens had the chance to show his great ability of humor in this novel. In terms of gentility, this novel on the one hand includes the comic gentlemen- such as Mr. Pickwick and his club members- and on the other hand it also includes the typical devious gentlemen such as Jingle, Dodson and Fogg who are extremely selfish and never get ashamed to deceive the others. Our main concern is to analyze the concept of the gentleman in Dickens’s works in terms of their positive and negative qualities. At the beginning of the novel we see that Mr. Pickwick is a snob who is the president of a club – which used to be a common habit among rich people in the Victorian time – and enjoys going to parties as well as going to the theatre and watching some sport activities. His innocence and naivety creates some comic misunderstandings and funny adventures. Later, he becomes a benevolent, kind and true gentleman with his comical qualities. His nature attracts the respect of the people around him and although he does not own a family himself his servant eagerly convinces him to live with them like their father. His sincere and gentlemanly behavior makes him a very popular and respectable person in the town they live.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2015.v5n1s1p131

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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