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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 10 | March 18, 2007|


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Classic Corner

By Charles Dickens

David Copperfield is a novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1850. Many elements within the novel follow events in Dickens' own life, and it is considered the most autobiographical of all his novels. Dickens worked on this novel for two years, carefully planning out the plot and structure. Loved by greats like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Kafka and James Joyce, it is also Dickens' favorite child.

The story is told in the first person, and was the first Dickens novel to do so. The major theme of the novel is the disciplining of the hero's emotional and moral life. There are so many characters that learn to make wiser choices in their relationships through personal experiences. Throughout the novel, Dickens uses characters as comparisons and contrasts for each other in terms of wisdom and discipline.

The story deals with the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity, his life upon the demise of his father and how his stepfather sends him to a factory in London of which he is a joint owner. The grim details of the factory echoes Dickens' own travails in a blacking factory. David walks all the way to Dover, to find his only known relative Aunt Betsy, who agrees to bring him up and renames his Trotwood Copperfield. The story follows David as he grows to adulthood, enlivened by the many characters that enter, re-leave and enter his life. The two most familiar characters are the constantly debt-ridden Mr. Micawber, and the fraudulent clerk Uriah Heep. In typical Dickens' fashion, a few narrative threats are let hanging but the major characters get what they deserve. Everybody involved finally finds security and happiness, and David marries and finds true happiness.

For the full novel, visit http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/766


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