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David Copperfield - di Charles Dickens


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David   Copperfield

di Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest novelists as well as one of the most remarkable representatives of Victorian Compromise. He hated the conditions of life and work in the industrial towns and criticised them in his novels, but at the same time he was a writer of his time and preached philanthropy, good sentiments and r 656j95g espect for the establishments.

"David Copperfield" was published in 1850; "of all my book", Dickens wrote, "I like this the best". It's probably the most popular of his novels and it also the most autobiographical.

Young David is sent to work in a warehouse, just as Dickens himself was. Later David earns his living by writing, just as Dickens did.

Mr Micawber, always in debt, always hoping that "something will turn up", is based on the character of Dickens's father. Even Dora is drawn from Dickens' memories of his first love, Maria Beadnell.

Dickens himself had a difficulty, unhappy childhood, and young David's life is not at all easy. His father died before he was born, and when he is eight, his mother marries again. Her husband, Mr Murdstone, is stern and cruel, and so his disagreeable sister, the stony-faced Miss Murdstone. As he grows up, David meets many unpleasant people: cruel schoolmasters, wicked friend, and the evil Uriah Heep, with his oily smile.

But there are other people in David's life too. There is Pegotty, his kind loving nurse, and slow Mr Barkis, a man of very few words. There is David's aunt, who tries hard to be stern, but who has a heart of gold. There are also the unlucky Micawbers, cheerful and despairing by turn. There is quiet gentle Agnes, always a true and wise friend. And then there is Dora, the loveliest girl he ever saw, with her golden hair and her blue eyes; "his sweet, pretty, silly Dora".

The story take place in the Victorian England, we can notice clear reference to London and Canterbury. Places are often closed and the interiors of the buildings are explicitly described by the narrator. The setting often reflects feelings, emotions and ideas of the characters. From the setting we can understand the background and the social position of the characters.

There is an explicit narrator that coincides with David Copperfield himself; David Copperfield is a first person narrator, he speaks as "I" and he comments on the story explaining his opinions and his thoughts.

Through this technique the author gives on air of authenticity and of the narrator's emotional involvement in the story.

David Copperfield is also an omniscient narrator, in fact he knows everything, and comments on or foresees the acts or the personality of a character. In his novel we can notice a fixed point of view, that follows the single prospective of David Copperfield

The characters of Charles Dickens' novels are described in a realistic way to investigating also their inner thoughts and to show their psychological state and development. Characters are round and dynamic, in fact, during the novel, they grow up in their personality: evil men become more and more diabolical, good-heart men become more and more honest and kind.

The writer shows the characters going about their daily lives (thinking, felling, acting and interacting each other) through the dialogs and monologues [SHOWING], but also through the narration and the descriptions [TELLING].

The plot is complex and Dickens uses flashback to explain the background of the story or of mysterious events.

The main theme of the novel is love and the importance to find somebody to love; "David Copperfield" is the difficult and unforeseeable travel of the man's soul to search his identity and to discover the happiness of the realisation of a dream of a normal life.


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