Friday, September 14, 2012

David Copperfield

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show," - David, Narration

I, personally, feel that David was not the hero of the book. He was simply the casual observer who was able to have pretty much everyone he ever met be one of those amazing personalities that could only come from the pen of Charles Dickens. Who the the hero of the book really was, I cannot say.

Dickens was a master of creating characters, and David Copperfield certainly got its fair share. From the eccentric Aunt Betsey to the umble Uriah Heep; from the cruelly firm Murdstone siblings; to the Foolish Dora. Every character in the book is unforgettable and superb.

I would have to say that my favorite character was Aunt Betsey. From the first time she appears at David's birth I knew I liked her. Who in their right mind would come in and demand that a child born be a girl? Only Miss Betsey Trotwood would. And then, just when you have heaped all of David's woes upon her head, and are thinking that things would have been so much better had she merely been an understanding person ... David decides to go to her house and she adopts him and becomes his devoted, loving aunt. She softens very much throughout the book, and it's a very fascinating process. And she does, eventually, get to be godmother to a "real Betsey Trotwood." And I love her obsession when it comes to keeping the donkeys off of her lawn.

"We are ready for Mount Vesuvius, or anything else, as soon as you please." - Miss Betsey Trotwood.

Of course, the fact that both Peggotty and David's mother have my name has nothing to do with the fact that I love the book. Nope. Nothing. Okay, fine, I admit it. I like to think that Kendra named me after them. Even though, she didn't. She named me after the Nutcracker ... but that's a completely different issue.

No one can help but feel sorry for Clara Copperfield. If they don't, they are a most hard-hearted person indeed! She had a good enough husband the first time ... but he died even before David was born. She should have left well enough alone and stayed single after that incident ... but she had to remarry, and she had to remarry Edward Murdstone. To me, they are the worst villains in the book, for they come at a time when David was small, making them so much the larger.

Although I do like Miss Murdstone's simile.

"As sulky as a bear!"
"I go tomorrow!" - Miss Murdstone.

She should have gone. And taken her horrid brother along with him as well.

The Peggotties were all wonderful. Even poor little Em'ly ... poor, poor little Em'ly. She could have had such a happy home! But, no, charming Steerforth had to disrupt the family and seduce her away. What a sad, sad state of affairs that was. The most tragic affair of all the tragedies of the book!

Ham, steady Ham, how tragically your life ended. How happy you could have made her! How sad she made you!

Ummm ... okay Clair, enough of that. We're being objective, remember?

There's lone and lorn Mrs. Gummidge, always thinking of the "Old 'un!" But, then, when the tragedy occurs, nary another word you hear of being lone and lorn crosses her lips. Indeed, 'tis her that is the most collected and cheerful! All she needed was to be reminded that she was not the only person in this world with troubles!

"Peggotty! You mean to say, child, that any human being has gone into a Christian church and got herself named Peggotty?" - Miss Betsey Trotwood

I frankly don't see Aunt Betsey's aversion to the name Peggotty, but it is quite humorous nonetheless. Even more humorous is Barkis's method of courting her.

"Are you pretty comfortable? Eh?" - Mr. Barkis

And then there's Mr. Dick.

"On who's advise I rely." - Miss Betsey Trotwood

He's really a good man, and smart, in his own way. But his thoughts aren't exactly organized, and there's that awful affair of the troubles of Charles the first ending up in his head, so he's considered weak minded by most. But Aunt Betsey refuses to admit that he's anything less than normal - indeed, he's extraordinary in her mind.

"But no one knows what that man's mind is, except myself," 

Says she. And, indeed, he does give her good advise.

"I should wash him!" - Mr. Dick.

And, he was the only one even capable of rectifying things between the Doctor and Annie after the Doctor acquires the assumption that Annie would have much preferred marrying her cousin John Maldon.

Then there's the Micawbers.

"Ahem! That is my name!" - Mr. Micawber

They're such charming people, you can't help but hope that someday (and someday soon) "Something will turn up," as they are always predicting. They have such irrepressible personality, and Mrs. Micawber's resolution to "Never desert Mr. Micawber!" is truly applaudable, although I never saw anyone actually trying to persuade her to do so.

They go at things with a vengeance, and are their tempers are truly elastic. They may be in the depths of despair one moment, then strolling along without cloud in the sky the next, for, surely, "Something will turn up!"

And who can't but love a man who "Surely must think in letters!"

You can't help but fear for them when it is announced that they are going into employment for ... Mr. Heep.

"I'm a very umble person." - Uriah Heep.

Uriah Heep is the sort of person that you love to hate. He's like a worm that sends shivers down your spine, and, yet, you find yourself enjoying those shivers. His devotion to his mother is the only applaudable thing about him.

Ah, what a web he wove! At times he overstepped himself, but those times were few. He held Mr. Wickfield in the palm of his clammy, bony hand. And, then, up stepped Mr. Micawber at last, letter in hand, and it all came crashing down. My only regret was that he was never properly punished, and merely found himself a new hole to dig himself into.

And then there was Dora, David's pretty, foolish child-wife. She was such a dear, you couldn't help but love her - and fear for her, unfit for the world as she was. She was, indeed, as Aunt Betsey called her, "A little blossom," soon to fade and die away!

But is there anyone else out there, besides me, who frequently wants to whack David upside the head for, firstly, not noticing that Agnes loved him, and, secondly, not noticing that he loved her!

"Ah, Trotwood, Blind, blind, blind!" - Miss Betsey Trotwood.

And anyone else out there notice that they both had field in their last name?

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