David Copperfield


David Copperfield

David Copperfield is a novel of "Passionate jealousy sniveling
hypocrisy cold hearted fraud, sexual degradation, selfish exploitation and much more; but the final impression is one of joy tempered and mellowed wisdom" Discuss. David Copperfield is probably one of the most successful novels of all time. I believe it has inspired many readers to a full life with great success. The novel itself is so real that it has even been said to be 'more real than life' I am one of those who agree and I will try and explain why in the following essay . The terms used to describe David Copperfield in the question are all very true in their own respect. This is basically because Dickens chose to write about life and in life all these terms apply. By the time that Dickens began writing David Copperfield he was already a profound author with great popularity. I believe he wanted to portray life as best he could, he wanted to show what life was to him: and what better way than a biography closely related to Dickens himself. We could call it a 'Novel of personal memory' but we have to keep in mind the full original title: 'The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield, the Younger, of Bluderstone Rookery. (Which he never meant to published on any account.) This complete title strongly suggests that this is one man's story written for himself. It was also supposed to 'never have been published on any account.' Later in chap 42 this condition is repeated: 'this manuscript is intended for no eyes but mine.' Of course this is part of the fiction, after all we are reading David's story ourselves when we reach this sentence. What is David Copperfield about? I pose myself this question to help illustrate how much of an autobiography this book really is, the simplest answer is of course that it is about David Copperfield himself and his development as a man. Although after having read several biography's done on the author Charles Dickens, I was led to believe that this book is very near Dickens own life, for example his father, John Dickens does seem to have been a warm and pleasant father, but his lack of responsibility, especially with money, later led his family into serious difficulties. This is very much like Mr.Micawber. Infact his unhappy loves in life were portrayed also, similarly he wanted to become a journalist and later as David Copperfield a well-known author. Referring back to the discussion title I'd like to give a few examples that show how the terms applied actually relate to the novel. 'Passionate jealousy,' this can be seen majorly in Uriah Heep who throughout the entire novel displays a strong jealousy towards David. Hidden behind his 'umbleness he despises society and is very disagreeable therefore he applies to most negative words used in the discussion title. One example of his jealousy was when he thought that David was trying to steal the love he dreamed of: Agnes. So Heep forced his own mother to spy on David. Another character who came across as having passionate jealousy was Ms.Dartle who loved Steerforth dearly all her life even though he had been cruel to her and even ruined her beautiful face by breaking her nose when he was younger. When Steerforth fled with lill'Emily, Ms.Dartle took it to heart that Em'ly had stolen her Steerforth. There was a lot of jealousy from Rosa Dartle's part. 'Sniveling hypocrisy,' again we see Heep classified under this category but more so there are two other very evil characters which are very hypocritical: Mr.Creakle, the cruel headmaster of Salem house school. Initially he is the cruelest most disrespectful headmaster alive but towards the end of the novel he has turned into a very nice, polite warden at a jailhouse who has respect even for the greatest criminals such as Heep and Littimer, Steerforth's despicable servant. Similarly Mr. Murdstone seems at the beginning to be very polite and a great gentleman; until he gets what he wants! He marries rich young widowed women whom he slowly destroys with his odious 'firmness' 'Cold-hearted fraud' this is probably the most serious offense that is committed in David Copperfield because it actually means: trickery or scheme to deceive. In other words it is a crime, there were only