After reading Martin Chuzzlewit I was a little letdown by Dickens. Then I started reading David Copperfield and I fell back in love. Now that I have finished David Copperfield I can render my final verdict on the novel.
But first, here is a brief synopsis. From the beginning, David’s life was not easy. His father died before he was born. His mother was young and had no family. David’s aunt is disappointed that he is not a girl and leaves the night of his birth determined not to be a part of his life. When David is a young boy his mother marries Mr. Edward Murdstone, who is not a nice man. He bullies poor David and one night David snaps and bites Mr. Murdstone.
For this offence David is sent to a boarding school. Mr. Creakle is a heartless headmaster and David’s difficulties continue. His mother gives birth to another son, but Mr. Murdstone and his sister, who lives with them, belittles and bullies David’s young mother to an early grave. And his young brother also dies. Mr. Murdstone pulls David from school and sends him to work in a factory in London. By the way, I like how Dickens named him Murdstone, close to murderer. I’m thinking that wasn’t a mistake.
After the family he lives with in London leaves the city in disgrace David does not have anyone to look out after him. He decides to run away to Dover to see if his aunt will take pity on him. His aunt, Miss Betsey Trotwood, is a peculiar lady. She takes a liking to David, who she calls “Trotwood” or “Trot.” She sends him to school where he finally receives an education and stability.
This novel follows David through the ups and downs of his life. While he endures much hardship he also has many friends and supporters throughout his life. Dickens once again enchanted me with a wonderful cast of characters. The lovable Micawbers, Traddles, Mr. Dick, Betsey Trotwood, and the Peggotty family are humorous to get to know. And Uriah Heep is a magnificent villain to hate.
Each time I sat down to read this novel I would devour large chunks at a time. It made me laugh, cry, think, and most importantly cherish. My favorite character was Betsey Trotwood. She’s an eccentric who says what she wants. During one scene, when a character is confronting her mother and husband, Miss Trotwood is present. David’s aunt does not like the mother. Several times she would blurt out things that made me laugh. Here are some of the quotes from this scene:
“Confound the woman!” said my aunt, “she won’t be quiet.”
“Then hold your tongue, for the Lord’s sake, and don’t mention it any more!” muttered my aunt.
“Really,” interrupted Mrs. Markleham, “If I have any discretion at all-“
“Which you haven’t, you Marplot,” observed my aunt, in an indignant whisper.
Dickens wrote, “Of all my books I like this the best.” I agree with him. So far this year I’ve read four novels by Dickens and this is my favorite out of the four. The others were Oliver Twist,The Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and Martin Chuzzlewit. Up next is Bleak House.