Charles Dickens: David Copperfield (3121 words)

Susan Garner-Jones (University of Liverpool)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


Dickens’s “favourite child”, David Copperfield, is a troubled one, reflecting, as he does, the author’s own uncertainties, contradictions and inconsistencies. As narrator of his own life, David “records that he is born” in a tone finely poised between reflective distance and narrative immediacy which is to characterize the novel as a whole; and this poise enables Dickens both to recreate childhood from a mature point of view, and also to re-enter, simultaneously conveying its joy and suffering and masking personal pain with laughter and creative caricature. Major themes, such as the sea and pre-emptive death, appear almost immediately, pulling the reader into the web of a man’s life.

The plot concerns the life o…

Citation: Garner-Jones, Susan. "David Copperfield". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2005 [, accessed 03 August 2021.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here