Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens is a story of selfishness, greed, and hypocrisy. The central character is old Martin Chuzzlewit, whose selfishness and cynicism, combined with his great wealth, cause him to mistrust everyone around him. Also a major character in the story is his relative, Mr. Pecksniff, an accomplished hypocrite, who covers his avarice with a mask of smooth piety and humility. Martin Chuzzlewit is a picaresque novel, which follows the genre convention of depicting the humorous adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits and corrupts society. As in most picaresque novels, the primary objective is social satire or criticism.