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Lucky Jim | Study Guide

Kingsley Amis

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Lucky Jim | Characters

Character Description
James Dixon James "Jim" Dixon, the book's protagonist, is unhappily employed as a history lecturer at an unnamed provincial college, and his personal life is a mess. Dixon yearns to escape but feels hopelessly trapped—though that doesn't mean he's lost his sense of humor. Read More
Christine Callaghan At the novel's start, Christine Callaghan is Bertrand Welch's sparkling girlfriend and a guest at the Welch family's "arty" weekend. Dixon thinks she is attractive but out of his league; gradually their friendship turns into romance. Read More
Ned Welch Professor Ned "Neddie" Welch is chair of the history department and, therefore, has power over Dixon's professional destiny. Read More
Bertrand Welch Bertrand Welch, a.k.a. "the painter," is the eldest Welch son. Dixon despises Bertrand, who's a rich, bearded, and beret-wearing dilettante; it doesn't help that Bertrand is dating Christine Callaghan, Dixon's dream woman. Read More
Margaret Peel Margaret Peel, a faculty member in the history department, is "small, thin, and bespectacled, with bright make-up," and to Dixon's eyes she is utterly unappealing, which is problematic since they're dating. Margaret purportedly attempted suicide after her previous boyfriend dumped her, which affects how everyone treats her; as the novel progresses, she turns out to be almost deliriously unstable. Read More
Bill Atkinson Bill Atkinson is an ex–army major who lives in Dixon's boardinghouse. He is a friend and comic foil for Dixon. Read More
Julius Gore-Urquhart Julius Gore-Urquhart, also known as Christine Callaghan's Uncle Julius, is a wealthy "devotee of the arts" who lives in London but has a house near the college. Read More
Alfred Beesley Alfred Beesley is one of Dixon's boardinghouse friends. A fellow college drudge, he teaches in the English department; since he and Dixon aren't professional rivals, they can be sympathetic to one another.
Catchpole Catchpole is Margaret Peel's ex-boyfriend—the person who supposedly causes her suicide attempt. When Catchpole and Dixon meet for tea, they realize Margaret has exaggerated her relationship with each of them for sympathy; this knowledge gives Dixon the push he needs to finally break off his relationship with her.
Caton L.S. Caton is a journal editor who agrees to publish Dixon's article about shipbuilding. Instead, Caton takes a teaching position in Argentina, presenting Dixon's article as his own work.
Miss Cutler Miss Cutler is the landlady at Dixon's boardinghouse; her main role in the novel is serving breakfast and tea. Previously "in service" for an upper-class family, she represents desexed and complacent elderly British women.
Carol Goldsmith Carol Goldsmith is married to Cecil Goldsmith. Her affair with Bertrand Welch reveals his repellent nature.
Cecil Goldsmith Cecil Goldsmith is a member of the history department and a colleague and friend of Professor Welch. His wife, Carol, is having an affair with Bertrand Welch.
Evan Johns Evan Johns is Dixon's boardinghouse enemy and an office worker at the college. Johns, who plays the oboe and is a favorite of the Welches, betrays Dixon several times, telling Professor Welch Dixon made excuses to leave his party early, stole a taxi, and impersonated a reporter on the phone; in return Dixon plays various pranks on him.
Local composer The local composer appears at the Welches' party and at Dixon's disastrous "Merrie England" lecture. The composer is a friend of Evan Johns, which means he is Dixon's natural enemy.
Sonia Loosmore Sonia Loosmore, referred to with some regularity though she never makes an appearance, is one of Bertrand Welch's former girlfriends. After he broke up with her, he immediately took up with Christine Callaghan—proof of his womanizing ways.
Maconochie Maconochie is the college porter. He repeatedly calls Dixon "Mr. Jackson."
Michie Michie is Dixon's unctuous student and a fellow World War II veteran, though unlike Dixon he was a hero. He wears annoying blue trousers and has a mustache; Jim despises him for these and other reasons.
Registrar's clerk The registrar's clerk is "another very bad man," according to Dixon. He represents the college's administration and bureaucracy.
Wilson Wilson is Margaret Peel's downstairs neighbor; he finds her unconscious after she overdoses on sleeping pills.
Michel Welch Michel Welch is Professor Welch's younger son; he is a writer and is "as indefatigably Gallic as his mother," which implies he is as annoying and dreadful as the rest of his family.
Mrs. Welch Mrs. Welch, Professor Welch's wife, is a classic British comic nemesis. Her mission in life seems to be discovering Dixon's social "crimes" and pursuing his punishment while obsessing over her boorish sons, Bertrand and Michel, and the state of her bedsheets—which Dixon destroys in a drunken stupor.
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