Uriah Heep and Antisocial personality

Charles Dickens’ novels have some unforgettable characters. One of them is Uriah Heep from David Copperfield.

“His face was quite as cadaverous as it had looked in the window… It belonged to a red-haired person—a youth of fifteen, as I take it now, but looking much older—whose hair was cropped as close as the closest stubble; who had hardly any eyebrows, and no eyelashes, and eyes of a red-brown…had a long, lank, skeleton hand, which particularly attracted my attention”

–  Uriah Heep as described by David in David Cooperfield


Uriah Heep also shakes a lot (wiggles), which modern psychologists feel could be due to neurological disorder called dystonia.

Uriah Heep never fails to tell everyone that he is humble ( in his words”umble”), a humble man who lives with his mother in “umble abode”. He is typical “yes man”.

Behind the façade of humility lies real Uriah Heep- greedy, ambitious and manipulative. While working as a clerk for Mr. Wickfield, he teaches himself law by night. He commits fraud, blackmails Mr. Wickfield, forcing Wickfield to make him his partner, he also plans to marry Wickfield’s daughter Agnes (who loves David) and take control of Wickfield’s fortune. In the end David manages to put him in jail for fraud.


Uriah Heep is interesting personality, while on surface he shows signs of dependent personality, inside he has antisocial personality disorder.

WHO describes dependent personality disorder as…subordination of one’s own needs to those of others on whom one is dependent and undue compliance with their wishes. He like your subordinate who says “yes sir” to whatever you tell him.


Dependent personality was façade; behind it was real personality – Anti social personality.

WHO describes antisocial personality disorder as… callous unconcern for the feelings of others, with gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, law and obligations. Uriah Heep had no compunction in blackmailing and cheating Mr. Wickfield – man who employed and trusted him.

Do you have Uriah Heep in your team or organisation?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s