David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Jack Maldon Character Analysis

Jack Maldon is the ne'er-do-well cousin of Annie Strong. The two were childhood sweethearts but later grew apart—probably because of Maldon's self-absorption and laziness. Maldon continues to hang around Annie after her marriage to Doctor Strong, in part because he hopes she will use her influence with her husband to find Maldon a job. Maldon is so persistent that people close to the Strongs begin to suspect that Annie is having an affair with him. Eventually, Mr. Wickfield attempts to remove Maldon from Annie's side by securing a job for him in India. Maldon is characteristically ungrateful for the position and eventually returns to England, where he continues to take advantage of the Doctor's generosity.

Jack Maldon Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below are all either spoken by Jack Maldon or refer to Jack Maldon. 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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Jack Maldon Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Jack Maldon 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
...him whether he has been able to find a position for his wife's cousin, Jack Maldon, whom he says will get into trouble if he is left "idle." Mr. Wickfield remarks... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...sit down for dinner, but they are interrupted by Uriah Heep, who says that Jack Maldon wants to speak with Mr. Wickfield. Meanwhile, David notices Uriah looking around the room and... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Jack Maldon pokes his head into the room and announces that while Annie and "the old Doctor"... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...advance her own family. Mrs. Markleham is present at the Strongs' farewell party for Jack Maldon, which David, Mr. Wickfield, and Agnes also attend. Although she thanks Doctor Strong profusely for... (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... (full context)
Chapter 19: I Look About Me, and Make a Discovery
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
...he can focus exclusively on his dictionary and Annie. This reminds Mr. Wickfield of Jack Maldon, who has recently written to the Strongs. Mrs. Markleham laments that Maldon is too frail... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...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 prove to Mr. Wickfield that he is ill. When... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...from embracing when the night is over. Thinking back to the party the night Jack Maldon went away, David suddenly realizes that Annie may be having an affair. This disturbs David,... (full context)
Chapter 36: Enthusiasm
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
...well, and that Annie will be happy to see David. He then reports that Jack Maldon is well too, and home from India, because Mrs. Markleham was anxious about his health. (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
...work on the Doctor's dictionary, which pleases Strong enormously: his papers became disorganized while Jack Maldon was acting as his secretary. David and Doctor Strong decide that he will work for... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...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 air of languid patronage." Maldon refuses... (full context)
Chapter 42: Mischief
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Uriah is referring to Doctor Strong and defends him, but Uriah says he meant Jack Maldon. Miserably, David realizes that Uriah also suspects Annie. Meanwhile, Uriah talks about how rudely Maldon... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
At that moment, Jack Maldon himself arrives at Doctor Strong's, and Uriah begins laughing. David walks away in disgust. (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...comfort Doctor Strong as Uriah continues, saying that it has been clear since before Jack Maldon left for India that he and Annie were "sweet on one another," and appealing to... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...Strong did as well. Doctor Strong denies this, saying he only wished to help Jack Maldon out of love for his wife. Nevertheless, Wickfield says, he believed that given the age... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...to mature. Now, however, he realizes that she may regret marrying him rather than Jack Maldon and that this leaves her vulnerable to gossip. Since Doctor Strong views himself as responsible... (full context)
Chapter 45: Mr. Dick Fulfills My Aunt's Prediction
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...the end result is that Annie is often forced out over her own protests. Jack Maldon only rarely accompanies them, however, although Dora sometimes goes. Since David is now convinced that... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
The topic of Mrs. Markleham's family brings Annie to Jack Maldon, whom she admits she was once infatuated with. Now, however, she is very grateful she... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
However, while Annie wished Maldon would make more of an effort to find work, she tolerated him until his going-away... (full context)
Chapter 64: A Last Retrospect
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...love. David disapproves of this and "what Julia calls 'society,'" which includes people like Jack Maldon. Maldon himself is safe in a post Doctor Strong secured for him, but nevertheless speaks... (full context)