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by Charles Dickens
Tommy Traddles Timeline and Summary
Tommy Traddles first appears as a student in Mr. Creakle's school, Salem House. He is a good-natured boy who never complains, even though he is Mr. Creakle's favorite target for beating. Traddles likes to draw skeletons whenever he is upset. When Steerforth gets Mr. Mell fired, Traddles is the only boy to stand up and say Steerforth has done the wrong thing. Traddles has been raised by a rich uncle. This uncle seems to have decided he doesn't like Traddles that much after all, because after his death, Traddles finds that the uncle hasn't left Traddles any money. Traddles has to drop out of Salem House and start work right away to support himself. He uses a school connection, Yawler, to find lots of odd jobs clerking in different law offices. Eventually, he saves enough money to work at a law office of his own. Traddles falls in love with a clergyman's daughter, Sophy Crewler. The two get engaged. Traddles realizes that he won't have enough money to start a family for a long time. He and Sophy settle into a long engagement. Traddles rents a room with the Micawbers, and becomes a close friend of theirs – so close that, when Mr. Micawber asks him to co-sign a couple of loans, Traddles agrees. Traddles speaks with David at length for the first time in many years at a dinner party at Mr. Waterbrook's house. The two become friends again. David warns Traddles not to co-sign any loans with Mr. Micawber, because Mr. Micawber's not a bad guy, but he can't be trusted with money. It's too late, of course. Mr. Micawber defaults on his loans, and Traddles is on the hook for a lot of money. His furniture is all repossessed. But Traddles doesn't hold a grudge. Traddles accompanies David on his visit to Dora's aunts to get permission to marry. David's friend looks forward to the day when he and Sophy can finally get married. Traddles worries about Mr. Micawber when he gets a letter from Mrs. Micawber suggesting that Mr. Micawber has been secretive and withdrawn ever since he started working for Uriah Heep. Traddles accompanies David and Miss Betsey to Canterbury to meet with Mr. Micawber. Hearing Mr. Micawber's testimony against Uriah Heep for fraud, Traddles demands that Uriah Heep pay back the money he stole and give up his partnership with Mr. Wickfield. Uriah Heep agrees reluctantly. Traddles finally marries Sophy Crewler. At one time or another, all of her sisters seem to stay with Traddles in his tiny home. But he is so generous and good-spirited that he welcomes the crowd. Traddles's hard work is really paying off: his law practice is well-established. Traddles is on his way to becoming a judge. Like David, Traddles gets a letter from Mr. Creakle inviting him to tour the prison Mr. Creakle is running. Traddles is amazed to find Uriah Heep and Steerforth's wicked servant, Littimer, in Mr. Creakle's prison. Both David and Traddles laugh at how Mr. Creakle treats his prisoners much better than he ever treated his students. Traddles settles in to a happy family life. All of his sisters-in-law marry happily (except for one, the oldest, who comes to live with Traddles and Sophy). He feels a sense of pride at the big, beautiful family that comes to sit around his dining room table.