David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Emma Micawber is Mr. Micawber’s wife. She is perpetually stressed and overworked, both because of her husband's financial difficulties and because the couple has a large (and growing) number of children. Nevertheless, she is a devoted wife who goes out of her way to make her husband's life easier—for instance, by pawning various possessions in an effort to pay off his debts. She also insists repeatedly that she will "never desert Mr. Micawber," although in this case, there is probably an element of self-reassurance at work: she often brings up the possibility of leaving when no one else has done so. Generally, however, the Micawbers seem to be well-matched, with Mrs. Micawber sharing her husband's tendency for dramatic, exaggerated words and gestures.

Mrs. Micawber Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Micawber or refer to Mrs. Micawber. 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 57 Quotes

"I wish Mr. Micawber, if I make myself understood," said Mrs. Micawber, in her argumentative tone, "to be the Caesar of his own fortunes. That, my dear Mr. Copperfield, appears to me to be his true position. From the first moment of this voyage, I wish Mr. Micawber to stand upon that vessel's prow and say, 'Enough of delay: enough of disappointment: enough of limited means. That was in the old country. This is the new. Produce you reparation. Bring it forward!'"

Related Characters: Mrs. Micawber (speaker), David Copperfield, Mr. Micawber
Page Number: 673
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mrs. Micawber Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Micawber appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11: I Begin Life on My Own Account, and Don't Like It
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...the show it could." He then introduces David to his family—four children and his wife, Mrs. Micawber , who looks tired and overwhelmed. (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Mrs. Micawber shows David his room and laments the necessity of taking in lodgers, implying that she... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
One day, Mrs. Micawber approaches David and confesses that the family has run out of food, and David offers... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...rest of their furniture, but this is still not enough to secure Mr. Micawber's release. Mrs. Micawber therefore moves into prison with him, and David moves to a room nearby to keep... (full context)
Chapter 12: Liking Life on My Own Account No Better, I Form a Great Resolution
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...secures his release from prison, and while he celebrates with his fellow inmates, David visits Mrs. Micawber . Mrs. Micawber proposes a toast to her parents, and explains that both are now... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
On the Sunday before they leave, Mr. Micawber and Mrs. Micawber have David over for dinner, and both thank him for being a friend to them... (full context)
Chapter 17: Somebody Turns Up
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...that he is now a student at Doctor Strong's and asks whether he could visit Mrs. Micawber . Micawber agrees that this is a wonderful idea, and extols David's faithful friendship throughout... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...to the inn where he and his family are staying, and then leaves him with Mrs. Micawber while he himself goes to look over advertisements for jobs. Mrs. Micawber explains that her... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...Micawber returns, apparently so despairing that he alludes to the possibility of suicide. This throws Mrs. Micawber into a state as well, but both recover quickly and place an order for a... (full context)
Chapter 27: Tommy Traddles
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...are well) before recognizing him, at which point he greets him delightedly and calls for Mrs. Micawber to join them. (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
While they wait for Mrs. Micawber , Mr. Micawber asks David about Doctor Strong and reminisces about their last meeting in... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
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Throughout Mr. Micawber's speech, David can hear Mrs. Micawber hastily washing up next door. When she finally comes to Traddles's room and sees David,... (full context)
Chapter 28: Mr. Micawber's Gauntlet
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Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Mr. Micawber, Mrs. Micawber , and Traddles all arrive together and praise David's rooms. Mrs. Micawber is especially delighted... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Mr. Micawber announces that the punch is ready and gives a speech. As everyone drinks, Mrs. Micawber asks for David's and Traddles's opinions on her husband's prospects, explaining that his hopes for... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
David reminds the Micawbers that advertising is expensive, and Mrs. Micawber replies that she has considered this and thinks that Mr. Micawber should first borrow some... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Mr. Micawber praises Mrs. Micawber 's virtues before speaking at length about the joys of having children, despite the financial... (full context)
Chapter 36: Enthusiasm
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...apartment. They are already packed to leave and have very little luggage. Nevertheless, David congratulates Mrs. Micawber , who says that while her family considers Mr. Micawber's new position "banishment," she will... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
...is then briefly distracted by his children's rowdy behavior, but the conversations soon resumes with Mrs. Micawber saying she hopes that this position will eventually lead to her husband becoming a judge.... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
As the evening goes on, David explains his and Miss Betsey's problems to Mr. and Mrs. Micawber , who seem happy about the news. When they are close to finishing the punch,... (full context)
Chapter 42: Mischief
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
David describes a letter he received from Mrs. Micawber while the Wickfields were still visiting. In it, Mrs. Micawber reports that Mr. Micawber has... (full context)
Chapter 49: I Am Involved in Mystery
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...that are conspiring to ruin his life, and that have caused him distress that even Mrs. Micawber cannot alleviate. For that reason, he says, he intends to "fly from [him]self" for a... (full context)
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...and surprised when Traddles reveals that he has also received a letter—in his case, from Mrs. Micawber . They exchange letters, and David finds that Mrs. Micawber's involves Mr. Micawber's strange behavior:... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
...figure out what is going on. They agree, however, that they ought to write to Mrs. Micawber and assure her that they will meet with Mr. Micawber; David, in particular, feels guilty... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
...David notices that he looks less "genteel" than he used to. When David asks how Mrs. Micawber is, Micawber says she is only "so-so," and then begins to describe how much he... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Assist at an Explosion
Home and Family Theme Icon
Mr. Micawber announces that he can now reconcile with Mrs. Micawber and the rest of his family, and invites everyone to follow him to his house.... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...become part of a church choir, but admits that he is currently singing in public-houses. Mrs. Micawber insists that her son "means well," and Micawber agrees, but says that he has not... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
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...and urges him to consider going with Mr. Peggotty and little Em'ly to Australia. Meanwhile, Mrs. Micawber wonders aloud whether Australia is the kind of place where her husband "would have a... (full context)
Chapter 54: Mr. Micawber's Transactions
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Mrs. Micawber explains that she has been busy communicating with her family: she suspects that their coldness... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Mr. Micawber and Mrs. Micawber leave David, Agnes, and Miss Betsey alone with Traddles, who is sitting at a table... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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...his threats. Miss Betsey uncomfortably thanks Traddles but dismisses the topic, instead inviting Mr. and Mrs. Micawber back in. (full context)
Chapter 57: The Emigrants
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A boy arrives saying that someone wishes to see Mr. Micawber, and Mrs. Micawber says she expects it is a member of her family. Mr. Micawber threatens to leave... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
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Mrs. Micawber promises Miss Betsey and David she will write from aboard ship, if she is able... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
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Mrs. Micawber says she hopes that her descendants might one day return to England, but Mr. Micawber... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
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...will do well in Australia. Agnes and Miss Betsey then say their goodbyes, causing both Mrs. Micawber and her children to burst into tears. (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
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...leads Peggotty, who is crying, back up to the deck. There, they say goodbye to Mrs. Micawber , who insists one final time that she will never leave Mr. Micawber. Peggotty and... (full context)