Charles Dickens' David Copperfield by Holly Hughes

By Holly Hughes

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Extra resources for Charles Dickens' David Copperfield

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Murdstone. She’s weak and a little foolish, but she does give her son the love he needs, and he never gets over losing her. CLARA PEGGOTTY Practical, sturdy, loyal, Clara Peggotty provides whatever motherly qualities Clara Copperfield lacks, and the two halves make a warm, secure whole for young David. Peggotty emerges as a force of love and life in the house in opposition to the Murdstones. When David goes away, first to school and later to work, Peggotty’s letters give him a sense of continuity with home.

Peggotty comes to the rescue and takes David to Yarmouth again. Their trip over with Barkis is more comical than ever, with the wagon-driver pressing his bizarre courtship of Peggotty. ”, but afterwards Peggotty admits that she’s thinking of marrying him. Her reasons are entirely practical- this way she can still be near David and near Clara’s grave. Peggotty sees marriage in a different light than romantic Clara Copperfield did. David seems older; the boat-house looks smaller to him, and his relationship with Emily is coyer, more sexual.

After he’s been beaten and locked away, David feels like a criminal, the more so because he is treated like one. Like a life force, Peggotty breathes hope to him through the keyhole. But when David is sent away to boarding school, his mother is not allowed to say good-bye fondly. She’s been persuaded he’s wicked- and he feels he is, too. Comedy blossoms in Chapter V, as a welcome relief from the Murdstones. Peggotty’s sly, defiant, button-bursting farewell is comical. ” The waiter at the coach-stop inn is also comical, with his friendly way of swindling innocent David out of his lunch.

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