Mr Wickham


Outer characterisation

Mr Wickham is the villain of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, as his lies about being mistreated by Darcy complicate the plot. Furthermore, he runs away with Lydia without intending to marry her, which - according to the social norms of the time - would lead to the ruin of Lydia's reputation.

Wickham’s outer characterisation tells us that he is an army officer in the regiment that comes to Meryton (the local town). His father worked for Darcy’s father, and he was the godson of Mr Darcy senior. Apparently, Wickham was meant to join the Church, but upon the death of Darcy senior, he asked for his inheritance, claiming he wanted to study law. However, he ended up gambling away all his money. By the end of the novel, he is married to Lydia Bennet, but he continues to gamble money and accumulate debts.

He is also good-looking which convinces many that he must be a respectable person: “His appearance was greatly in his favour; he had all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address” (p. 51).

In terms of his overall behaviour, we find out that he has pleasant manners, but we eventually realise that these really hide his bad character: “Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his making friends—whether he may be equally capable of retaining them, is less certain” (p. 65).

Inner characterisation

His inner characterisation reveals that he often lies, gambles, and is motivated by money. For example, after gambling his inheritance away, he seduced Dar...

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