David Cooperfield Essay

943 words - 4 pages

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The three main themes I find stand out the most in David Copperfield is the difficulty of the weak, wealth and class, and equality in marriage. David Copperfield has been inspired by the authors life himself Charles dickens, it’s a bit of a reflection on Charles life, and the society he lived in.

The weak tend to suffer a lot specially when they are in the hands of the powerful in David Copperfield. I find that in this theme specifically Dickens relates to his own experiences as a child to describe the inhumanity of child labour. Charles dickens focuses on orphans, women and the mentally disabled almost the weakest members in a society just to show show that taking advantage is mostly what happens in todays industrial societies. The most arbitrary suffering of innocents makes for the most vividly affecting scenes of the novel. The best example of exploitation is when David starves and suffers in a wine-bottling factory asa child. As Mr.Murdstone his guardian can exploit david as factory labor because the boy is to small to do otherwise.Another example is when the boys as Salem House possibly way out against the cruelty of Mr.Creakle.In both situations, children are deprived of their natural parents care and suffer in the hands of their own supposed protectors.

Wealth, social status and class are ubiquitous issues through the entire novel. Favouritism and undeserved respect are constantly displayed for those of a higher class. As illustrated by Steerforth, it is obvious that he is treated much better than David and the other students at Salem house, because of his class, furthermore, Steerforth is immoderately regarded by David and Mr.Peggoty and Ham, both whom are of lower class, whereas in in fact in the readers mind Steerforth should be the one who should respect them for their moral character. He constantly puts people below him in status down, such as Mr.Mell and Ham once he gets engaged to little Em’ly.

The striving towards social status can be seen through David’s and Dora’s romantic affair and marriage. For example, when David’s first thought after hearing Miss Betsey’s financial downfall is his shame of being poor, and Dora cries at the thoughts of David Being poor and of having to do her own house chores. After hearing the financial situation it is most evident that David is constantly striving to make enough money to live and provide Dora with a life of wealth.
Little Emily also portrays the importance of wealth in the novel by expressing unhappiness at her low social status and longs to be a lady, which is why she runs of with Steerforth in the first place.

Lastly, equality in marriage is also another theme I find is portrayed very strongly in...

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