AS SEEN IN:
'Our Mutual Friend' (1976 version)
Possibly the Borderlands
(Splainin to follow)
Nicodemus (Noddy) Boffin, aka "the Golden Dustman" becomes a member of the nouveaux-riches when Old Mr. Harmon’s heir is considered dead; illiterate but wants very much to fit the image their money gives him, and so hires Silas Wegg to read to him in hopes of gaining more intelligence and worldliness; nearly blackmailed by Wegg. Assumes the role of a miser in order to show Bella the dangers of wealth but eventually admits this behaviour was an act and leaves his money to Bella and John. Boffin’s innocence, naive curiosity, and desire to learn contrast with his “elaborate performances as Boffin the miser”.
Critics speculate that Dickens’s decision to have Boffin play a part may not have been planned, as it was very convincing for a man who has shown his simplistic ignorance on several occasions. Boffin’s wealth by Harmon’s money is appropriate because he attained it by combing the dust heaps, thus suggesting a mobility of class; represents a wholesome contrast to such wealthy characters as the Veneerings and Podsnaps; probably based on Henry Dodd, a ploughboy who made his fortune removing London's rubbish.