Tomy Traddles: Character Analysis in David Copperfield

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      Tomy Traddles first makes his appearance in the novel David Copperfield as a school-boy of Salem House School. He is the first boy to come after the vacation and to meet David, being by nature fun loving and lively. Traddles pokes fun at David who has the placard on his back, bearing the words "he bites, take care of him." Traddles acts as if David is a biting dog, and then introduces him to the other boys who come after the vacation. But his fun-loving nature has nothing wicked about it. He is an upright, frank, honest boy. He has got a good conscience. Though he minds his lessons strictly he cannot escape Creakle's cane. When Steerforth insults the teacher Mell, it is only the voice of Traddles that protests against it and shouts, "shame Steerforth" When Mell is expelled from the school by Creakle - the head of the school, Traddles weeps for sympathy and gets a severe caning from Creakle.

Traddles and David in London

      The course of fortune once again brings David and Traddles together in London. David undergoes Proctor's training. Traddles is also a student of law. When David's aunt becomes ruined and David wants to earn extra money, he consults his old friend Traddles about the benefits of learning shorthand for parliamentary reporting. Besides his hard work at law, Traddles himself is doing newspaper reporting and learning shorthand. So he gives good advice to David as to how to master shorthand and how to earn. He gives him the benefit of his own experience.

Their Exciting Adventures

      In due course, David becomes a Proctor, and Traddles becomes a lawyer. Then they have a very exciting adventure together. This is the exposure and punishment of the villain Uriah Heep, whom Micawber corners in a wonderful way. On the day of crisis, David, Traddles and Betsey Trotwood come to Wickfield's office where Uriah Heep is a partner. Micawber makes it plain that by forgery and fraud, Uriah has swindled Wickfield of money and taken valuable documents from him. It is Traddles that has the foresight to get a power of Attorney from Wickfield, quickly and in advance of Uriah's downfall. With this, he faces Uriah and finally brings him down on his knees. Micawber, David and Betsey could only spend their fury on Uriah; but Traddles has the shrewdness of a lawyer and brings about the collapse of Uriah.


      Traddles settles down in the legal profession, marries Sophy and has children. He becomes a prosperous man of family and a successful lawyer.

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