Description of Mr. Wickham

George Wickham

Physical Appearance:

While Austen doesn't dwell on detailed descriptions of male characters, Wickham is consistently mentioned as:

  • Handsome: Elizabeth first notices his "fine countenance" and "pleasing manners" (Chapter 3). Other characters also remark on his good looks.
  • Tall and well-built: He's described as possessing "an air of great good humour, and... tall and gentlemanlike" (Chapter 34).
  • Stylish and fashionable: Wickham maintains a polished appearance, likely to further his social influence and charm potential benefactors.

Character Description and Analysis:

  • Charming and personable: Wickham easily wins people over with his wit, affability, and ability to flatter. He uses this charm to manipulate others and gain their trust.
  • Liar and deceiver: Wickham fabricates a sob story about Darcy's mistreatment, exploiting Elizabeth's sympathy and prejudice against Darcy. This reveals his cunning and manipulative nature.
  • Self-serving and opportunistic: Wickham is primarily concerned with personal gain and advancement. He readily exploits others and engages in reckless behavior to fulfill his desires.
  • Cowardly and irresponsible: When confronted with the truth of his actions, Wickham flees and abandons Lydia, showcasing his lack of courage and commitment.
  • Potential for change: While the novel doesn't explicitly detail Wickham's future, Darcy's assistance suggests a possibility of reform and atonement for his past mistakes.

Character Mentions in the Novel:

  • Elizabeth Bennet: "Mr. Wickham... was most agreeable. He had an air of openness, generosity, and frankness, which was calculated to win favour at once" (Chapter 3).
  • Mr. Darcy: "Wickham is a scoundrel... whose sole dependance... is on obtaining money in the army" (Chapter 23).
  • Kitty Bennet: "Mr. Wickham is the pleasantest person in the world!" (Chapter 38).
  • Colonel Forster: "He thought him a dastardly fellow" (Chapter 62).

Top Quotations:

  • "I am persuaded that when Darcy is better known, he will be regarded as the most amiable and open-hearted man in the world" (Chapter 3).
  • "My friends have dropped off by degrees - some are offended, some are indifferent, and some are backward; and what little connexion remains requires more trouble than it is worth" (Chapter 20).
  • "I was the youngest of five, two brothers and three sisters; Mr. Darcy, the eldest, and I the youngest, of a brood of five" (Chapter 23).
  • "I could not do otherwise than fly" (Chapter 61).

Additional Notes:

  • Wickham serves as a foil to Darcy, highlighting the dangers of first impressions and the deceptive nature of outward charm.
  • His character adds complexity and intrigue to the plot, particularly around Elizabeth's initial judgment of Darcy.
  • Despite his flaws, Wickham's story offers a glimpse into the challenges faced by those with limited means and social connections in Regency England.

Remember, while his appearance is briefly described, Wickham's true nature is revealed through his actions, lies, and manipulations. 

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