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David Copperfield

David Copperfield


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 Micawber has been secretive and withdrawn ever since he started working for Uriah Heep.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.