Mr. Wickfield is Agnes’s widowed father and Betsey Trotwood’s lawyer, as well as her friend. David first meets Mr. Wickfield as a young boy when he is sent to live with the Wickfields while he attends school in Canterbury. Mr. Wickfield is a weak-willed man and a heavy drinker which makes it easy for his clerk, the villainous and calculating Uriah Heep, to manipulate him. Mr. Wickfield is not strong enough to liberate himself from Uriah’s plans and the novel implies that he would have continued to do Uriah’s bidding had Mr. Micawber not exposed Uriah with the help of David and Traddles. However, Mr. Wickfield’s greatest weakness is not alcohol—it is his daughter, Agnes. Mr. Wickfield’s beloved wife died when Agnes was only two weeks old. As a result, Mr. Wickfield is fiercely devoted to his daughter and depends on her for everything. He even introduces his daughter to David as his “little housekeeper” and repeatedly claims that he “must have [Agnes] near [him]” at all times. Theirs is undoubtedly an unhealthy relationship, but it is unfortunately accurate for the Victorian Era. Unmarried daughters were expected to be subservient and self-denying and to put their father’s needs before their own. Such expectations are reflected in the relationship that Mr. Wickfield has with his daughter. However, Dickens is critical of this conventional father/daughter dynamic. By the end of the novel, Mr. Wickfield realizes that his treatment of Agnes has resulted in her unhappiness. During his epiphany, Mr. Wickfield cries, “I have infected everything I touched. I have brought misery on what I dearly love… Sordid in my grief, sordid in my love, sordid in my miserable escape from the darker side of both, oh see the ruin I am, and hate me, shun me!” Dickens’s repeated use of the word “sordid,” something that is morally ignoble, to describe that manner in which Mr. Wickfield treats Agnes critiques the unfair gender dynamics within the Victorian domestic sphere.