54 pages 1 hour read

Charles Dickens

Pickwick Papers

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1836

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Character Analysis

Samuel Pickwick

The novel’s descriptions of Samuel Pickwick, the protagonist and the founding member of the Pickwick Club, are simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary. The Introduction notes of Pickwick that “a casual observer might possibly have remarked nothing extraordinary in the bald head, and circular spectacles” (12), yet Pickwick’s ordinary looks hide the “gigantic brain” and “beaming eyes” (12) of a genius. Before starting the Pickwick Club, Pickwick was a businessperson and a scholar, known for his travels of Hampstead and his published study the “Theory of Tittlebats.” Pickwick takes an interest in all subjects, especially those related to his travels and human behavior. The core tenets of the Pickwick Club are founded on Pickwick’s love for observation, which has led to the curation of the Pickwick Club’s papers but also tends to get Pickwick in trouble, as in Chapter 2, when his notetaking about his coachman makes the coachman think Pickwick is a spy.

Despite his high status among his friends and community, Pickwick is far from immune to the comedy and chaos of The Pickwick Papers and typically experiences trouble inadvertently and hilariously stemming from coincidences that occur during the club members’ misadventures. Although renowned for his wisdom and speech, Pickwick isn’t clearheaded when he most needs to be, which leads him into a

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