20 Memorable Character Names from the Works of Charles Dickens


John Podsnap, "Our Mutual Friend"

Mr. Podsnap is thought to be the personification of middle-class pomposity. He's described like this in "Our Mutual Friend":

"Mr. Podsnap was well to do, and stood very high in Mr. Podsnap's opinion. Beginning with a good inheritance, he had married a good inheritance, and had thriven exceedingly in the Marine Insurance way, and was quite satisfied. He never could make out why everybody was not quite satisfied, and he felt conscious that he set a brilliant social example in being particularly well satisfied with most things, and, above all other things, with himself."

He was the inspiration behind the term podsnappery, which Merriam-Webster describes as "an attitude toward life marked by complacency and a refusal to recognize unpleasant facts." Podsnap dismisses unpleasant facts (which meant anything that didn't support his self-satisfied existence) with a sweeping gesture of his arm to place such affronts behind him.