Character Sketch of Agnes in David Copperfield
Agnes, the daughter of Mr. Wickfield, is a very important character in the novel. David Copperfield is taken to the house of Mr. Wickfield at the stage when he has started making judgments of people-their genera! impression, their outlook, and their moral views. He is not very correct nor very systematic in his judgment. But this quality makes David’s observations quite significant as this gives him the power to act according to his understanding. Even at this stage, the first look of Agnes makes David observe a peacefulness and a calmness which he could never wipe off his mind. He saw Agnes performing domestic chores with interest and taking care of her father with tenderness.
She takes David upstairs to show them his room, lays down his meal, arranges drinks for her father, and sings him to quiet sleep. Because of the high quality of education that David receives at Dr. Strong’s school, he starts thinking of his career in very practical terms. He leaves Mr. Wickfield’s house after he sets up his own legal business. In a sense, he had forgotten Agnes. But the latter had a full understanding of David’s character.
She was aware of the hardships he had suffered and understand the materialistic aspirations he pursued so vigorously. But she knew that she could depend On David for any kind of help. The crisis in which she found her father on account of the diabolic influence of Uriah Heep forced her to seek David’s help. And rightly David did everything possible to free Mr. Wickfield from this evil influence.
Again, after this short intercourse, Agnes is away from David’s thoughts. David is married. But his life is not happy. Although he has achieved success, wealth, and fame he has not known peace and satisfaction. They come to him only when in the last he seeks the company of Agnes.
Agnes is thus presented as a self-sacrificing character, as a person who shows remarkable maturity in her thoughts and action. Of the several women characters in the novel, she has been presented as the perfect match for David because like her he has also a sense of values and a calmness about him in spite of the turbulent life that he has led.