Their emigration to Australia, in the wake of that of Micawber, Daniel Peggotty, and Mr Mell, emphasizes Dickens' belief that social and moral redemption can be achieved in a distant place, where someone may create a new and healthy life. Morally, Dickens here conforms to the dominant middle-class opinion,. John O Jordan devotes two pages to this woman, also "lost," though never having sinned.
Dickens denounced this restrictive dichotomy by portraying women "in between". Such is Rosa Dartle, passionate being, with the inextinguishable resentment of having been betrayed by Steerforth, a wound that is symbolised by the vibrant scar on her lip. Never does she allow herself to be assimilated by the dominant morality, refusing tooth and nail to put on the habit of the ideal woman.
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Avenger to the end, she wants the death of Little Emily, both the new conquest and victim of the same predator, and has only contempt for the efforts of David to minimize the scope of his words. As virtuous as anyone else, she claims, especially that Emily, she does not recognize any ideal family, each being molded in the manner of its social class, nor any affiliation as a woman: she is Rosa Dartle, in herself. David's vision, on the other hand, is marked by class consciousness: for him, Rosa, emaciated and ardent at the same time, as if there were incompatibility chapter 20 , is a being apart, half human, half animal, like the lynx, with its inquisitive forehead, always on the look out chapter 29 , which consumes an inner fire reflected in the gaunt eyes of the dead of which only this flame remains chapter In reality, says Jordan, it is impossible for David to understand or even imagine any sexual tension, especially that which governs the relationship between Rosa and Steerforth, which, in a way, reassures his own innocence and protects what he calls his "candor" - frankness or angelism?
Also, Rosa Dartle's irreducible and angry marginality represents a mysterious threat to his comfortable and reassuring domestic ideology. Dickens's approach to the novel is influenced by various things, including the picaresque novel tradition,  melodrama ,  and the novel of sensibility. Fielding's Tom Jones   was a major influence on the nineteenth novel including Dickens, who read it in his youth,  and named a son Henry Fielding Dickens in his honour. Trevor Blount comments on the fascination that Dickens has always exercised on the public, He mentions the lavishness, energy, vividness, brilliance, and tenderness of Dickens's writing, along with the range of his imagination.
Blount also refers to Dickens's humour, and his use of the macabre and of pathos.
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Finally Blount celebrates the artistic mastery of an overflowing spontaneity, which is conveyed carried with both delicacy and subtlety. This is best illustrated in many of Dickens's works, by the powerful figure of a weak individual. In David Copperfield Mr Wilkins Micawber is such a figure, someone who is formidably incompetent, grandiose in his irreducible optimism, sumptuous in his verbal virtuosity, and whose grandiloquent tenderness is irresistibly comical.
In this novel, one characteristic noted by Edgar Johnson is that Dickens, in the first part, "makes the reader see with the eyes of a child",  an innovative technique for the time, first tried in Dombey and Son with an omniscient narrator , and carried here to perfection through the use of the 'I'. Modernist novelist Virginia Woolf writes, that when we read Dickens "we remodel our psychological geography The very principle of satire is to question, and to tear off the masks, so as to reveal the raw reality under the varnish.
These tools include irony , humour , and caricature. How it is employed relates to the characters differing personalities. Satire is thus gentler towards some characters than others; toward David the hero-narrator, it is at once indulgent and transparent. There are several different types of character: On the one hand there are the good ones, Peggotty, Dr Strong, Traddles, etc, on the hand there are the bad ones, Murdstone, Steerforth, Uriah Heep etc. A third category are characters who change over time, including Betsey Trotwood, who at first is more obstinate than nasty, it is true, and Martha Endell, and Creakle etc.
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There is also a contrast drawn between ever-frozen personalities such as Micawber, Dora, Rosa Dartle, and those who evolve. The there is also a contrast drawn between the idiosyncrasies of Mr Dick, Barkis, Mrs Gummidge, and the subtle metamorphosis from innocence to maturity of characters like David, Traddles, Sophy Crewler.
Dickens worked intensively on developing arresting names for his characters that would reverberate with associations for his readers, and assist the development of motifs in the storyline, giving what one critic calls an "allegorical impetus" to a novel's meanings. There can also be a visual dimension to Dickens's humour. This includes Micawber's rotundity, his wife's dried-up body, which forever offers a sterile breast, Betsey's steadfast stiffness, Mr Sharp's bowed head, Daniel Peggotty's stubborn rudeness, Clara Copperfield's delicate silhouette, and Dora's mischievous air.
Then there are exaggerated attitudes that are constantly repeated. Dickens creates humour out of character traits, such as Mr Dick's kite flying, James Maldon's insistent charm, Uriah Heep's obsequiousness, Betsey pounding David's room. There are in addition the employment of repetitive verbal phrases: "umble" of the same Heep, the "willin" of Barkis, the "lone lorn creetur" of Mrs Gummidge. Dickens also uses objects for a humorous purpose, like Traddles' skeletons, the secret box of Barkis, the image of Heep as a snake, and the metallic rigidity of Murdstone.
In David Copperfield idealised characters and highly sentimental scenes are contrasted with caricatures and ugly social truths. While good characters are also satirised, a considered sentimentality replaces satirical ferocity. This is a characteristic of all of Dickens's writing, but it is reinforced in David Copperfield by the fact that these people are the narrator's close family members and friends, who are devoted to David and sacrificing themselves for his happiness.
Hence the indulgence applied from the outset, with humour prevailing along with loving complicity.
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David is the first to receive such treatment, especially in the section devoted to his early childhood, when he is lost in the depths of loneliness in London, following his punishment by Mr Murdstone. Michael Hollington analyses a scene in chapter 11 that seems emblematic of the situation and how humour and sentimentality are employed by Dickens. He has forgotten the exact date his birthday. This episode release David's emotional pain, writes Michael Hollington, obliterating the infected part of the wound.
Beyond the admiration aroused for the amazing self-confidence of the little child, in resolving this issue and taking control of his life with the assurance of someone much older, the passage "testifies to the work of memory, transfiguring the moment into a true myth". The wife of the keeper, returning David's money, deposits on his forehead a gift that has become extremely rare,  a kiss, "Half admired and half compassionate", but above all full of kindness and femininity; at least, adds David, as a tender and precious reminder, "I am sure".
Dickens went to the theatre regularly from an early age and even considered becoming an actor in The cry of Martha at the edge of the river belongs to the purest Victorian melodrama , as does the confrontation between Mr Peggotty and Mrs Steerforth, in chapter Such language, according to Trevor Blount, is meant to be said aloud. Many other scenes employ the same method: Micawber crossing the threshold, Heep harassing David in Chapter 17, the chilling apparition of Littimer in the middle of David's party in Chapter The climax of this splendid series of scenes is the storm off Yarmouth, which is an epilogue to the menacing references to the sea previously, which shows Dicken's most intense virtuosity chapter Dickens made the following comment in "Every good actor plays direct to every good author, and every writer of fiction, though he may not adopt the dramatic form, writes in effect for the stage".
Setting is a major aspect of Dickens's "narrative artistry and of his methods of characterization", so that "the most memorable quality of his novels may well be their atmospheric density [ In David Copperfield setting is less urban, more rustic than in other novels, and especially maritime. Besides Peggotty, who is a seaman whose home is an overturned hull, Mr Micawber goes to the naval port of Plymouth on the south coast after prison and appears finally on board a steamer.
Young David notices the sea on his first day at her home; "the air from the sea came blowing in again, mixed with the perfume of the flowers".
Important symbols include, imprisonment, the sea, flowers, animals, dreams, and Mr Dick's kite. The constant repetition of these details Separating realism and symbolism can be tricky, especially, for example, when it relates, to the subject of imprisonment, which is both a very real place of confinement for the Micawber family, and, more generally throughout David Copperfield , symbolic of the damage inflicted on a sick society, trapped in its inability to adapt or compromise, with many individuals walled within in themselves.
The imponderable power of the sea is almost always associated with death: it took Emily's father; will take Ham and Steerforth, and in general is tied to David's "unrest" associated with his Yarmouth experiences. The violent storm in Yarmouth coincides with the moment when the conflicts reached a critical threshold, when it is as if angry Nature called for a final resolution; as Kearney noted, "The rest of the novel is something of an anti-climax after the storm chapter,".
According to Daniel L Plung, four types of animal are a particularly important aspect of the way symbolism is used: song birds symbolize innocence.
Flowers symbolize innocence, for example, David is called "Daisy" by Steerforth, because he is naive and pure, while Dora constantly paints bouquets, and when Heep was removed from Wickfield House, flowers return to the living room. Mr Dick's kite, represents how much he is both outside and above society, immune to its hierarchical social system. Furthermore, it flies among the innocent birds,  and just as this toy soothes and gives joy to him, Mr Dick heals the wounds and restore peace where the others without exception have failed.
Dreams are also an important part of the novel's underlying symbolic structure, and are "used as a transitional device to bind [its] parts together" with twelve chapters ending "with a dream or reverie". In addition physical beauty, in the form of Clara, is emblematic of moral good, while the ugliness of Uriah Heep, Mr Creakle and Mr Murdstone underlines their villainy. While David, the story's hero, has benefited from her love and suffered from the violence of the others. Dickens, in preparation for this novel, went to Norwich , Lowestoft , and Yarmouth where the Peggotty family resides, but he stayed there for only five hours, on 9 January He assured his friends, that his descriptions were based on his own memories, brief as were his local experiences.
However, looking to the work of K J Fielding  reveals that the dialect of this town was taken from a book written by a local author, Major Edward Moor published in Many view this novel as Dickens's masterpiece , beginning with his friend and first biographer John Forster, who writes: "Dickens never stood so high in reputation as at the completion of Copperfield",  and the author himself calls it "his favourite child".
It is therefore not surprising that the book is often placed in the category of autobiographical works.
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From a strictly literary point of view, however, it goes beyond this framework in the richness of its themes and the originality of its writing. Situated in the middle of Dickens's career, it represents, according to Paul Davis, [N 11] a turning point in his work, the point of separation between the novels of youth and those of maturity. In , Dickens was 38 years old and had twenty more to live, which he filled with other masterpieces, often denser, sometimes darker, that addressed most of the political, social and personal issues he faced.
Dickens welcomed the publication of his work with intense emotion, and he continued to experience this until the end of his life. When he went through a period of personal difficulty and frustration in the s, he returned to David Copperfield as to a dear friend who resembled him: "Why," he wrote to Forster, "Why is it, as with poor David, a sense comes always crashing on me now, when I fall into low spirits, as of one happiness I have missed in life, and one friend and companion I have never made? Although Dickens became a Victorian celebrity his readership was mainly the middle classes, including the so-called skilled workers, according to the French critic Fabrice Bensimon, because ordinary people could not afford it.
The first reviews were mixed,  but the great contemporaries of Dickens showed their approval: Thackeray found the novel "freshly and simply simple";  John Ruskin , in his Modern Painters , was of the opinion that the scene of the storm surpasses Turner's evocations of the sea; more soberly, Matthew Arnold declared it "rich in merits";  and, in his autobiographical book A Small Boy and Others , Henry James evokes the memory of "treasure so hoarded in the dusty chamber of youth".
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After Dickens' death, David Copperfield rose to the forefront of the writer's works, both through sales, for example, in Household Words in where sales reached 83,,  and the praise of critics. In , Scottish novelist and poet Margaret Oliphant described it as "the culmination of Dickens's early comic fiction";  However, in the late nineteenth-century Dickens's critical reputation suffered a decline, though he continued to have many readers.
This began when Henry James in "relegated Dickens to the second division of literature on the grounds that he could not 'see beneath the surface of things'". Then in , two years after Dickens's death, George Henry Lewes wondered how to "reconcile [Dickens's] immense popularity with the 'critical contempt' which he attracted". Leavis in The Great Tradition , contentiously, excluded Dickens from his canon, characterising him as a "popular entertainer"  without "mature standards and interests". Dickens's reputation, however, continued to grow and K J Fielding and Geoffrey Thurley identify what they call David Copperfield' s "centrality", and Q D Leavis in , looked at the images he draws of marriage, of women, and of moral simplicity.
According to writer Paul B Davis, Q. Leavis excels at dissecting David's relationship with Dora. Finally, J B Priestley was particularly interested in Mr Micawber and concludes that "With the one exception of Falstaff , he is the greatest comic figure in English literature". David Copperfield has pleased many writers. You said it had affinity to Jane Eyre : it has—now and then—only what an advantage has Dickens in his varied knowledge of men and things! He never fails you.
As is the custom for a regular serialized publication for a wide audience, David Copperfield , like Dickens's earlier novels, was from the beginning a "story in pictures" whose many engravings are part of the novel and how the story is related. Phiz drew the original, the first two illustrations associated with David Copperfield : on the wrapper for the serial publication, for which he engraved the silhouette of a baby staring at a globe, probably referring to the working title The Copperfield Survey of the World as it Rolled , and the frontispiece later used in the published books , and the title page.
The green wrapper is shown at the top of this article. Phiz drew the images around the central baby-over-the-globe with no information on the characters who would appear in the novel. He knew only that it would be a bildungsroman. A woman holds a baby on her lap. The images continue clockwise, marking events of a life, but with no reference to any specific event or specific character of the novel.
When each issue was written, Phiz then worked with Dickens on the illustrations. The latter intends to stay behind, just like the author who, thus, hides behind the illustrator. Dickens was particularly scrupulous about illustrations; he scrutinized the smallest details and sometimes demanded modifications, for example to replace for a very particular episode the coat that David wears by "a little jacket". One puzzling mismatch between the text and accompanying illustrations is that of the Peggotty family's boat-house "cottage" on the Yarmouth sands pictured.
It is clear from the text that the author envisaged the house as an upright boat, whereas the illustrator depicted it as an upturned hull resting on the beach with holes cut for the doors and windows. Interior illustrations of the cottage also show it as a room with curved ceiling beams implying an upturned hull.
Although Dickens seemed to have had the opportunity to correct this discrepancy he never did, suggesting that he was happy with the illustrator's depiction. David Copperfield was later illustrated by many artists later, after the serialization, including:.