P. G Wodehouse – how his characters evolved

Published: 25th June 2006
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Bertie Wooster and Jeeves seem to have originated from Arthur Conan Doyles' characters – Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. What P. G. Wodehouse has harped upon is the understanding which the two characters share even though they do not seem to agree on any given idea or thought. Jeeves, though not an exact characterization of Dr. Watson, carries out the same moral duty of helping his friend (or Sir) come out of the web in which Sherlock Holmes or Bertie Wooster finds himself in. Though the cue may have been taken from Dr. Watson it is the genius of P. G. Wodehouse, his perfect command over prose, his love for that ideal stiff upper lip Englishman and maybe the hatred towards the various aunts that feature in his works has made Jeeves the character that he is. Jeeves might seem to be the coming of age of the character PSmith. But PSmith doesn't carry that ιlan, that highbrow, that stiff upper lip, that egotism, that Jeeves reflects. P. G. Wodehouse's hatred toward his aunts is undoubtedly projected in the numerous aunts – Ant Dahlia, Aunt Agatha to name a few – who invariably are the source of trouble that haunts Bertie Wooster.


PSmith emerged after numerous characters portrayed by P.G. Wodehouse in school-series. 'Captain' might the fore-bearer transforming into the inimitable PSmith who loves to love and enjoy life. PSmith always tries to be different – even his name suggests that – which invariably lands him in a ploy which continues till the score is settled with the female characters like Emily Sprockett Sprockett at the end of the day.


Though P.G. Wodehouse's characters do not show any intellectual curiosity they do show the benevolence and alacrity to win over the hearts of the female characters and of course the readers.


Female readers might not have enjoyed P. G. Wodehouse's work as much as male readers for the female characters always seem to have been projected as dumb witted heads falling in love with the "good ol'egg".


On personal front Wodehouse always loved being solitary or in company of his friend Guy Bolton.


All in all, PSmith, Jeeves, Bertie Wooster, Lord Emsworth, Blandings Castle and host of aunts all team up together to provide us with good humour where a reader is 'a maudlin, sentimental, dumb, doddering chunk of imbecility who doesn't know what he is doing'.




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