David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Annie Strong Character Analysis

Annie Strong is Doctor Strong’s wife. She is much younger than her husband, who had previously been a friend of her father's. Combined with the fact that Annie once had a childhood romance with her cousin, Jack Maldon, this causes several people, including Mr. Wickfield, to suspect her of having an affair. In reality, Annie loves and admires her husband deeply and regards her previous infatuation Maldon as misguided. She does not feel capable of sharing these feelings with Doctor Strong, however, in part because she views herself as unworthy of him, and in part because she is ashamed of the way her mother, Mrs. Markleham, exploits Annie's marriage for her own advantage. Uriah Heep encourages these misunderstandings, and Annie and her husband remain somewhat estranged until Mr. Dick clears the air between them.

Annie Strong Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below are all either spoken by Annie Strong or refer to Annie Strong. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Puffin edition of David Copperfield published in 2013.
Chapter 45 Quotes

"There is nothing," said Annie, "that we have in common. I have long found that there is nothing. If I were thankful to my husband for no more, instead of for so much, I should be thankful to him for having saved me from the first mistaken impulse of my undisciplined heart."

Page Number: 552
Explanation and Analysis:
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Annie Strong Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Annie Strong appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 16: I Am a New Boy in More Senses Than One
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...old-fashioned clothing, so David is surprised to learn that the pretty young woman accompanying him, Annie, is his wife. Before Mr. Wickfield leaves, Doctor Strong asks him whether he has been... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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Jack Maldon pokes his head into the room and announces that while Annie and "the old Doctor" would prefer him to stay close by, he wants to leave... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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...down requests for help. David also notices that Doctor Strong has a "fatherly" manner toward Annie, whom David learns came from an impoverished family. He sees Annie often, in part because... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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David also comes to know Annie's mother, Mrs. Markleham, who is known as the "Old Soldier" because of the way she... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
The evening continues with talk of Maldon's impending voyage, followed by games and entertainment. Annie, however, seems anxious and unhappy, and does not end up taking part in either the... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Returning inside, David learns that Annie is missing. Doctor Strong and the guests eventually find her lying in the hall in... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...he enters the study, he sees Doctor Strong sitting in a chair reading aloud to Annie, who is seated at his feet and looking up at him with a "wild, sleep-walking,... (full context)
Chapter 17: Somebody Turns Up
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...introduces the two men, and Mr. Dick becomes a friend of both the Doctor and Annie, who has looked sad and pale recently. Mr. Dick is particularly impressed by the Doctor's... (full context)
Chapter 19: I Look About Me, and Make a Discovery
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...his position as headmaster soon so that he can focus exclusively on his dictionary and Annie. This reminds Mr. Wickfield of Jack Maldon, who has recently written to the Strongs. Mrs.... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Mrs. Markleham thanks Doctor Strong profusely and urges Annie—unsuccessfully—to do the same. She then reads aloud from Maldon's letter to her in order to... (full context)
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...smoothly, although Mr. Wickfield seems troubled and continues to shoot glances at Doctor Strong and Annie. When Annie and Agnes sing and play duets together, David realizes that Mr. Wickfield disapproves... (full context)
Chapter 36: Enthusiasm
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...and comments on how much he has grown up. David asks after the Doctor and Annie's health, and he says that they are well, and that Annie will be happy to... (full context)
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Doctor Strong invites David in, and he has breakfast with the Doctor and Annie. While they are eating, Jack Maldon arrives and irritates David by greeting him with "an... (full context)
Chapter 42: Mischief
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...he holds dear. David presses Uriah, who eventually implies that he is not fond of Annie Strong. Uriah goes on to complain that Mrs. Strong has always treated him with condescension,... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...Uriah then informs David that he has reluctantly felt obliged to share his suspicions of Annie Strong with the Doctor. David is enraged and tries to comfort Doctor Strong as Uriah... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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Mr. Wickfield attempts to retract his own suspicions of Annie Strong, but Uriah claims to have witnessed them firsthand. Eventually, Mr. Wickfield admits that he... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...the subject is, he had no choice to bring it up—particularly since David has noticed Annie Strong's behavior as well. David angrily disputes this, but realizes that his expression has already... (full context)
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...discreetly crying. Finally, he says that he is to blame for any "trials and aspersions" Annie has been exposed to. More specifically, he feels that he might have unfairly "ensnared" her... (full context)
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...a letter asking him not to speak about the conversation with anyone. David notices that Annie Strong does not seem aware that anything has happened. Gradually, however, she appears to notice... (full context)
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The one thing that appears to cheer up both Doctor Strong and Annie Strong is Mr. Dick's presence. Although David is not sure how much of the situation... (full context)
Chapter 45: Mr. Dick Fulfills My Aunt's Prediction
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...sees him often. Mrs. Markleham still lives with the Doctor, and uses his insistence that Annie enjoy herself as an excuse to go out herself. In fact, she continually fuels the... (full context)
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Doctor Strong sorrowfully agrees with all Mrs. Markleham says, and the end result is that Annie is often forced out over her own protests. Jack Maldon only rarely accompanies them, however,... (full context)
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...any indication of this, but he continues to be close to both Doctor Strong and Annie. (full context)
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...the Doctor and his wife. Having confirmed that Doctor Strong is not actually angry with Annie, Mr. Dick excitedly says that he knows the solution. He asks why Miss Betsey and... (full context)
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...are going for an evening stroll and pass by Doctor Strong's house, where they find Annie Strong and Mr. Dick in the garden. Mrs. Strong says her husband is seeing someone... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
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...Markleham soon enters the drawing room where David and Miss Betsey are seated, and scolds Annie for not informing her that Doctor Strong was meeting with someone about his will. She... (full context)
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Once inside the study, Annie Strong immediately kneels before Doctor Strong. Mr. Dick asks what's wrong as the Doctor tries... (full context)
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David hesitantly offers to reveal what he knows and—at Annie's urging—explains the conversation that took place between him, Uriah Heep, Mr. Wickfield, and Doctor Strong.... (full context)
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Annie continues her story, explaining that she eventually grew used to the idea of marrying Doctor... (full context)
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The topic of Mrs. Markleham's family brings Annie to Jack Maldon, whom she admits she was once infatuated with. Now, however, she is... (full context)
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However, while Annie wished Maldon would make more of an effort to find work, she tolerated him until... (full context)
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Throughout Annie's speech, Doctor Strong has attempted to reassure her. Now that she has finished, the couple... (full context)
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...so much to a married child. David, meanwhile, is deep in thought, mulling over what Annie Strong had said about the importance of like-mindedness in marriage. (full context)
Chapter 48: Domestic
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...He never stopped loving Dora, and was only half-aware of these thoughts himself. Remembering what Annie Strong had said about "undisciplined hearts" and "disparity in marriage," he also worked to adapt... (full context)
Chapter 62: A Light Shines on My Way
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David and Agnes marry about two weeks later, with only Traddles, Sophy, Doctor Strong, and Annie Strong as wedding guests. As the couple drives away together, Agnes says she has something... (full context)
Chapter 64: A Last Retrospect
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Meanwhile, Doctor Strong continues to work on his dictionary. He and Annie Strong now have a happy life together, in part because Mrs. Markleham no longer has... (full context)