David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Tommy Traddles Character Analysis

Tommy Traddles is David’s classmate and friend from Salem House. He is an unusually cheerful boy, particularly given that he receives more abuse from Mr. Creakle than any of the other students. What's more, he is extremely kind and loyal, as evidenced by his outspoken criticism when Steerforth bullies Mr. Mell and ultimately gets him fired. These qualities persists into adulthood, when Traddles diligently pursues his legal studies in the hopes of one day saving up enough money to marry his longtime sweetheart, Sophy Crewler. This makes him something of a foil to David, who applies himself steadfastly to his career but whose romantic attentions wander from little Em'ly to Dora Spenlow before finally settling on Agnes Wickfield.

Tommy Traddles Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below are all either spoken by Tommy Traddles or refer to Tommy Traddles. 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 27 Quotes

"However," he said, "it's not that we haven't made a beginning towards housekeeping. No, no; we have begun. We must get on by degrees, but we have begun. Here," drawing the cloth off with great pride and care, "are two pieces of furniture to commence with. This flower-pot and stand, she bought herself. You put that in a parlor-window," said Traddles, falling a little back from it to survey it with the greater admiration, "with a plant in it, and—and there you are! This little round table with the marble top (it's two feet ten in circumference), I bought."

Related Characters: Tommy Traddles (speaker), David Copperfield, Sophy Crewler
Related Symbols: Flower Pot and Table
Page Number: 343
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 54 Quotes

"When I lost the rest, I thought it wise to say nothing about that sum, but to keep it secretly for a rainy day. I wanted to see how you would come out of the trial, Trot; and you came out nobly—persevering, self-reliant, self-denying! So did Dick."

Page Number: 647
Explanation and Analysis:
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Tommy Traddles Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Tommy Traddles appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: I Enlarge My Circle of Acquaintance
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The next day, the head teacher, Mr. Sharp, returns. A student named Tommy Traddles arrives and tells David that Mr. Sharp's luxuriantly wavy hair is actually a wig. Traddles... (full context)
Chapter 7: My 'First Half' at Salem House
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...instances in which he waited watchfully for Creakle to explode at him or someone else. Traddles in particular, as the "merriest and most miserable of all the boys," experiences frequent beatings,... (full context)
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Mr. Mell's dismissal causes a rift between Steerforth and Traddles, who had cried when he left (and been beaten for it). Traddles accuses Steerforth not... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Sequel of My Resolution
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...falls back to sleep. The next morning, he rejects the idea of trying to visit Traddles as too risky and continues along the road to Dover. (full context)
Chapter 25: Good and Bad Angels
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...who fawns over David for much of the evening. One guest, however, is named "Mr. Traddles," and David attempts to learn if it is Tommy Traddles from Salem House (it is).... (full context)
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David is relieved to rejoin Agnes, whom he introduces to Traddles. He is sad to learn, however, that Agnes is leaving London soon, since he feels... (full context)
Chapter 27: Tommy Traddles
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The day after his conversation with Mrs. Crupp, David decides to go see Traddles, who lives in a neighborhood with an air of "faded gentility" that reminds David of... (full context)
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Traddles explains that he usually invites guests to his "chambers"—an office he shares with other law... (full context)
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David reminds Traddles of the sky-blue suit he used to wear at Salem House, and Traddles laughs about... (full context)
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David asks Traddles about the uncle who raised him, and Traddles explains that he was a cloth-merchant who... (full context)
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Traddles also reveals that he is engaged to a curate's daughter, whom he takes walking trips... (full context)
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Traddles continues to talk about his circumstances, and eventually mentions that his downstairs neighbors (and landlords)... (full context)
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...David can hear Mrs. Micawber hastily washing up next door. When she finally comes to Traddles's room and sees David, she faints, and Mr. Micawber has to fetch water to revive... (full context)
Chapter 28: Mr. Micawber's Gauntlet
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Mr. Micawber, Mrs. Micawber, and Traddles all arrive together and praise David's rooms. Mrs. Micawber is especially delighted with a dressing-table... (full context)
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...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 work in both the corn... (full context)
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...judgment as sound. She then goes to lie down in David's bedroom, and David and Traddles congratulate Mr. Micawber on having such a "heroic" wife. (full context)
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...joys of having children, despite the financial costs involved. He then moves on to praising Traddles and Traddles's fiancée before hinting that he suspects David is also in love. David is... (full context)
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...leave, Mr. Micawber slipping a letter to David as he does so. David, meanwhile, holds Traddles back and warns him not to lend Micawber anything. Traddles says that he doesn't have... (full context)
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...the Micawbers and their situation and then excitedly tells Steerforth that his other guest was Traddles. Steerforth, however, doesn't remember Traddles at first, and then simply asks whether he is "as... (full context)
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...and explains that Mr. Micawber is "Crushed," his apartment and things having been repossessed. Unfortunately, Traddles' things have also been repossessed, which worries David, who fears his friend won't be able... (full context)
Chapter 34: My Aunt Astonishes Me
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While David has been spending time with Dora, Traddles has stopped by his apartment a few times and stuck up a friendship with Peggotty,... (full context)
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David is still anxious about Traddles's financial situation, so he asks after Mr. Micawber. Traddles explains that the he is no... (full context)
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David and Traddles go find Peggotty and carry through with their plan to buy back the flower pot... (full context)
Chapter 36: Enthusiasm
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...of a sacrifice. He still wants to do more, though, so he decides to consult Traddles. (full context)
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David takes Mr. Dick with him when he visits Traddles, because Mr. Dick has been fretting about doing nothing to help David and Miss Betsey.... (full context)
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Mr. Dick wishes aloud that he could "exert himself," and Traddles asks whether he could copy legal documents. Mr. Dick and David are not sure that... (full context)
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After Mr. Dick's problem is sorted out, Traddles tells David that he has a letter for him from Mr. Micawber. In his typically... (full context)
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...husband becoming a judge. Mr. Micawber pretends to discourage this idea, but also appeals to Traddles, who explains that only a barrister can become a judge, and that becoming a barrister... (full context)
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...seem happy about the news. When they are close to finishing the punch, David and Traddles both toast to the Micawbers' success, and Mr. Micawber thanks them profusely. He then brings... (full context)
Chapter 38: A Dissolution of Partnership
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...Commons. This proves to be a disaster, so David begins to practice transcribing speeches that Traddles gives for his benefit. Together with Miss Betsey and Mr. Dick, they hold mock parliamentary... (full context)
Chapter 41: Dora's Aunts
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...on Dora. David accepts this invitation and writes that he will be bringing his friend Traddles with him. He finds himself wishing he could consult with Miss Mills, but her father,... (full context)
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...to look handsome and wanting to look "practical." Furthermore, as he walks to Putney with Traddles, David worries about Traddles's hair, which tends to stick upright. He asks Traddles if he... (full context)
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Traddles's selflessness does not fully strike David at the time, since he is so anxious about... (full context)
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...and Dora's courtship, and again interrupts with a declaration of how much he loves Dora. Traddles backs David up and happens to mention that he himself has been engaged for a... (full context)
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...supervision. David eagerly accepts these conditions, although Lavinia and Clarissa insist on giving him and Traddles time alone to consider. When the sisters return, they tell David he can come to... (full context)
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...trying to eavesdrop. Dora is upset, however, and says she is frightened of David's friend (Traddles). David protests that Traddles is the "best creature," but Dora says that they "don't want... (full context)
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Traddles and David leave, and Traddles remarks that David will likely marry before he does. David... (full context)
Chapter 43: Another Retrospect
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...also begun to publish a few works of fiction in magazines, further supplementing his income. Traddles, meanwhile, has qualified as a lawyer and is now earning money himself. (full context)
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David no longer spends much time at Doctors' Commons, but Traddles does visit him there on the day he goes to obtain a marriage license. David... (full context)
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...also attending the wedding; in fact, Mr. Dick is giving Dora away. David also meets Traddles along the way, and everyone takes a carriage to church for the "fairy marriage." Just... (full context)
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...Everyone is very cheerful on the ride back, and Sophy jokes that she is surprised Traddles didn't lose the marriage license David entrusted him with. A breakfast follows, but David can't... (full context)
Chapter 44: Our Housekeeping
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Eventually, David decides to bring Traddles home for dinner, and sends a message to Dora to tell her. Traddles is excited... (full context)
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After Traddles leaves, Dora apologizes to David and asks him to teach her better housekeeping skills. David... (full context)
Chapter 48: Domestic
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David has Traddles over for dinner shortly after this, and Dora gets out of bed for the occasion,... (full context)
Chapter 49: I Am Involved in Mystery
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...to "fly from [him]self" for a few days by traveling to London, and suggests that Traddles and David meet him the day after tomorrow outside King's Bench Prison.  (full context)
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...finds the letter confusing but senses that it is important. He is therefore happy when Traddles stops by, and surprised when Traddles reveals that he has also received a letter—in his... (full context)
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Traddles and David agree that the letters are not simply the Micawbers' usual exaggerations, but they... (full context)
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David and Traddles arrive early to the meeting, and find Mr. Micawber already there, looking fondly at the... (full context)
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David, Traddles, and Mr. Micawber go for a walk, the latter saying that he wishes he had... (full context)
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...Betsey's to meet his aunt and to make punch. Mr. Micawber accepts and, together with Traddles, they take a coach to Highgate. When they arrive at Miss Betsey's, Mr. Dick is... (full context)
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...out of the cottage, but sends a letter while David, Miss Betsey, Mr. Dick, and Traddles are still trying to make sense of his visit. In the note, Micawber apologizes to... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Assist at an Explosion
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The next day, David, Miss Betsey, Mr. Dick, and Traddles set off together for Canterbury, and arrive that evening at the hotel Mr. Micawber has... (full context)
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David returns to the inn and waits anxiously with Miss Betsey, Traddles, and Mr. Dick. When Mr. Micawber arrives, he refuses to eat anything and warns everyone... (full context)
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...asks for Agnes, as Micawber had told him to do. Mr. Micawber then shows David, Traddles, Miss Betsey, and Mr. Dick inside, and announces their presence to Uriah. Uriah is momentarily... (full context)
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...David notices that she looks tired and nervous. He also notices that Mr. Micawber and Traddles seem to be communicating silently with one another. Eventually, Traddles leaves the room. Meanwhile, Uriah... (full context)
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Traddles returns with Mrs. Heep and—when Uriah asks him who he is—explains that he has a... (full context)
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David and Traddles restrain Mr. Micawber, and he resumes reading his letter, explaining that his financial difficulties quickly... (full context)
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...drawer in his desk and then, suddenly remembering that others are watching, stops short.  Meanwhile, Traddles confirms that Micawber gave him the incriminating pocketbook earlier that day, and Mrs. Heep again... (full context)
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...that all the books in it are gone. Micawber explains that he took them, and Traddles says that he now has them. (full context)
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Uriah asks what David wants to do, and Traddles explains what "must be done." First, he says, Uriah needs to give back the contract... (full context)
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Traddles tells Uriah he can go think things over in his room. Before leaving, however, Uriah... (full context)
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...everyone to follow him to his house. Agnes remains behind to comfort Mr. Wickfield, and Traddles stays to guard Uriah, but Mr. Dick, Miss Betsey, and David go with Mr. Micawber,... (full context)
Chapter 54: Mr. Micawber's Transactions
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...returns to Canterbury with Miss Betsey and Agnes and goes directly to Mr. Micawber's, where Traddles is staying. (full context)
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Mr. Micawber and Mrs. Micawber leave David, Agnes, and Miss Betsey alone with Traddles, who is sitting at a table covered in papers. Traddles expresses concern for David, but... (full context)
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Traddles announces that, after going over all the accounts, it is clear that Mr. Wickfield could... (full context)
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Traddles moves on to Miss Betsey, who says she would be happy to have her money... (full context)
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Traddles explains that, with Miss Betsey's admission, he can account for all the money that was... (full context)
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Miss Betsey asks whether Traddles really managed to get all the money back from Uriah, and Traddles says that Mr.... (full context)
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Miss Betsey changes the subject to Mr. Micawber, and Traddles reiterates how important his help was in catching Uriah. Miss Betsey asks how much money,... (full context)
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Once they have settled how to pay Mr. Micawber, Traddles says there is one more "painful" topic he needs to address. He reminds Miss Betsey... (full context)
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...soon die of anguish. At the end of the letter, however, a postscript announces that Traddles paid the debt in Miss Betsey's absence, and that the Micawbers are now "at the... (full context)
Chapter 57: The Emigrants
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...task while he and his family are staying in a public-house, just before setting sail. Traddles (who also knows about the accident) comes with him, and Agnes, Miss Betsey, and Peggotty... (full context)
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...pocketbook. This reminds him to give a sheet detailing all his debts, with interest, to Traddles. Meanwhile, Mrs. Micawber still thinks her family will show up before the ship sails. (full context)
Chapter 58: Absence
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...on a story based on his own life. When he finishes, he sends it to Traddles, who arranges for it to be published. The work enhances David's fame, and he soon... (full context)
Chapter 59: Return
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...their familiarity. His friends' situations have also changed: Miss Betsey is back in Dover, and Traddles is now practicing law. (full context)
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David goes immediately to the neighborhood where Traddles works, and asks for his friend's address at an inn. He also asks whether Traddles... (full context)
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After eating, David goes to see Traddles. As he approaches his room, he thinks he hears girls laughing. A young clerk answers... (full context)
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Traddles asks Sophy to go fetch her sisters, who went to the neighboring room when they... (full context)
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Traddles says that after successfully arguing a particularly noteworthy case, he went to Sophy's father and... (full context)
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...are all very pretty, and that the eldest (Caroline) is in fact as beautiful as Traddles has always said. David finds, however, that he appreciates Sophy's "loving, cheerful, fireside quality" even... (full context)
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Sophy tells David that, while on their honeymoon, she and Traddles saw Agnes and Miss Betsey, and that both women were thinking of David. She also... (full context)
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..."among the dry law-stationers and the attorneys' offices." He also feels much more optimistic about Traddles's career prospects, and begins to think back over his own life as he sits in... (full context)
Chapter 61: I Am Shown Two Interesting Penitents
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...In the meantime, he makes trips to London both for pleasure and to confer with Traddles, who managed David's business affairs while he was abroad. Traddles also receives all of David's... (full context)
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While visiting Traddles, David notices that Sophy is often writing in a book that she quickly hides upon... (full context)
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David remarks that Traddles can always find ways to enjoy life, regardless of his circumstances, and asks whether he... (full context)
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When the day of the tour arrives, David and Traddles go to the prison, which is an imposing and expensive building. Once inside, they meet... (full context)
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...is surprised to see that the prisoner is Uriah Heep, who greets both him and Traddles. Mr. Creakle asks Uriah how he is, and he replies that he is "very umble."... (full context)
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...convince Mr. Creakle that Uriah and Littimer are not repentant at all. Instead, he and Traddles simply leave the prisoners and the magistrates to their "system," which they hope will prove... (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,... (full context)
Chapter 64: A Last Retrospect
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Traddles is now a very successful lawyer on the cusp of becoming a judge. He reminisces... (full context)
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Traddles and David reach Traddles's house, which is one of the properties he and Sophy used... (full context)