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VOL - 3 / 2013 - SEP

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The Wicked Gentleman in David Copperield


Wicked or evil characters were indispensible tools for the Victorian writers. Dickens also used this instrument to make his stories more attractive and to create suspense. It has been aimed that the more the Good struggle against the Evil, the more the Victorian readers are trapped in the novel plots. The wicked gentlemen, whom Dickens chose for the novel David Copperield, are ‘Mr. Murdstone’, ‘James Steerforth’ and ‘Uriah Heep’. As David Copperield is Dickens’s most autobiographical novel and ‘favourite child,’ these wicked gentlemen play important
roles in various periods of his life. Mr. Murdstone enters David’s life as a stepfather and he immediately becomes his irst enemy as a result of his “irmness” and brutal behavior. While it is quite easy to guess from his name that Mr. Murdstone becomes one of the obvious wicked gentlemen in the novel, it takes some time for the readers to see especially Steerforth’s real face and Uriah also disguises behind his ‘umble’ background.


Gentleman; Charles Dickens; David Copperield; The True Gentleman; The Wicked Gentleman; Crime


Mahmut TERCI

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