More on David Copperfield

More on David Copperfield : The earlier novel has some similarities with Great Expectations:

  • it is written in the first person
  • it follows its main character from childhood to middle age
  • in both books, the characters undertake a kind of pilgrimage during which they are tested and encounter difficulties and disappointment
  • it includes similar plot and thematic elements:
    • an orphaned boy who suffers from parental deprivation and childhood neglect
    • the narrator's gradual discovery of true values
    • David, like Pip, is supported by a variety of eccentric but kindly characters, only one of whom is actually a relative.

The novel also includes some autobiographical elements:

  • David is sent to work in a blacking factory by his harsh stepfather Mr. Murdstone, an episode that parallels Dickens' own experience as a young boy
  • this period in David's life is recounted in almost exactly the same words in an autobiographical account printed in the biography (1872-4) published by his friend John Forster
  • like Dickens, David grows up to become a popular author
  • like Dickens, David endures an unhappy marriage contracted when he is very young; unlike Dickens, however, he enjoys a happy second marriage.
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