David Copperfield was born half-orphaned – six months after the death of his father. It so happened that when he was born, his father’s aunt, Miss Betsey Trotwood, was present-her marriage was so unfortunate that she became a muzhinenavistnitsey, returned to the girl’s name and settled in the wilderness. Before the nephew’s marriage, she was very fond of him, but was reconciled to his choice and came to meet his wife only six months after his death. Miss Betsy expressed a desire to become the godmother of the newborn girl, asked her to name her Betsey Trotwood Copperfield and set out to “properly bring her up,” protecting against all possible mistakes. Learning that the boy was born, she was so disappointed that, without saying goodbye, she left her nephew’s house forever.
As a child, David is surrounded by the care and love of his mother and nanny Peggotty. But his mother is getting married a second time.
During the honeymoon,
David and his nanny are sent to Yarmouth, to stay with Brother Peggotty. So he first appears in a hospitable house-boat and gets acquainted with its inhabitants: Mr. Peggotty, his nephew Ham, his niece Emly and the widow of his companion, Mrs. Gummidge.
Returning home, David finds there “new dad” – Mr. Mardstone and a completely changed mother: now she is afraid to caress him and in everything submits to her husband. When they also have Mr. Mardstone’s sister, the boy’s life becomes completely unbearable. The Mardstons are very proud of their firmness, meaning under it “the tyrannical, gloomy, arrogant, diabolical temperament inherent in both of them.” The boy is taught at home; under the fierce looks of his stepfather and his sister, he is dumb with fear and can not answer the lesson. The only joy of his life is his father’s books, which, fortunately, were in his room. For poor schooling, they deprive him of lunch, they give him slippers; finally, Mr. Mardston decides to resort to flogging. As soon as the first blow fell on David, he bit his stepfather’s hand.
For this, he is sent to school Salem House – right in the middle of a vacation. Mother coldly parted with him under the watchful eye of Miss Mardstone, and only when the wagon drove away from the house, faithful Peggotty jumped into it and, showering “her Davy” with kisses, provided a basket with treats and a purse in which, with the exception of other money, there were two half-crowns from the mother, wrapped in a piece of paper with the inscription: “For Davy., With Love.” At school his back was immediately decorated with a poster: “Beware! Bites!” The holidays are over, the inhabitants return to school, and David meets new friends – the recognized leader among the students James Stearford, six years older, and Tommy Traddles – “the most fun and the most miserable”, the school is run by Mr. Creakle, whose teaching method is intimidation and flogging; not only students, but the home is also deadly afraid of him. Stirford, before whom Mr. Creakle fawns, takes Copperfield under his protection – for the fact that he, like Scheherazade, at nights tells him the contents of books from his father’s library.
There is a Christmas vacation, and David is going home, not knowing that this meeting with his mother is destined to be the last: soon she dies, and the newborn brother of David dies. After the death of his mother, David does not return to school: Mr. Mardstone explains to him that education costs money and such as David Copperfield, it is not useful, because it’s time for them to make a living. The boy is keenly aware of his abandonment: the Mardstons calculated Peggotty, and the good nanny is the only person in the world who loves him. Peggotty returns to Yarmouth and marries the carpenter Barkis; but before parting, she begged Mardston to let David stay in Yarmouth, and he again got into a boat-house on the beach where everyone sympathized with him and everyone was kind to him-the last breath of love before the ordeal.
Mardston sends David to London to work at the trading house “Mardstone and Grinby.” So at ten years David enters into an independent life – that is, becomes a slave of the firm. Together with other boys, always hungry, he washes the bottles all day, feeling like he gradually forgets the school wisdom and was horrified at the thought that one of his former lives can see him. His suffering is strong and deep, but he does not complain.
David is very attached to the family of the owner of his apartment, Mr. Micawber, a frivolous loser, constantly besieged by creditors and living in the eternal hope that someday “happiness will smile us.” Mrs. Micawber, easily falling into hysterics and just as easily consoling, now and then asks David to demolish a silver spoon, then tweezers for sugar. But they also have to part with the Micawbers: they get into a debt prison, and after liberation they go to seek happiness in Plymouth. David, who does not have a single close friend in this city, firmly decides to run to Grandma Trotwood. In the letter, he asks Peggotty where his grandmother lives, and asks him to send him half a pigeon. Having received the money and a very vague answer that Miss Trotwood lives “somewhere near Dover”, David collects his things in a chest and goes to the post office station; on the way he is robbed, and, already without a trunk and without money, he sets out on foot. He sleeps in the open air and sells a jacket and waistcoat to buy bread, he is exposed to a lot of dangers – and on the sixth day, hungry and dirty, with broken legs, comes to Dover. Having happily found the grandmother’s house, sobbing, he tells his story and asks patronage. The grandmother writes to the Mardstones and promises to give the final answer after talking with them, and while David is washed, fed lunch and put in a real clean bed. hungry and dirty, with broken legs, comes to Dover. Having happily found the grandmother’s house, sobbing, he tells his story and asks patronage. The grandmother writes to the Mardstones and promises to give the final answer after talking with them, and while David is washed, fed lunch and put in a real clean bed. hungry and dirty, with broken legs, comes to Dover. Having happily found the grandmother’s house, sobbing, he tells his story and asks patronage. The grandmother writes to the Mardstones and promises to give the final answer after talking with them, and while David is washed, fed lunch and put in a real clean bed.
After talking with the Mardstons and realizing the full measure of their gloominess, rudeness and greed, the grandmother decides to become the official guardian of David.
Finally, David returns to normal life. His grandmother, although oddball, but very, very kind, not only to his great-nephew. In the house she has a quiet, crazy Mr. Dick, whom she saved from Bedlam. David begins to study at Strong’s school in Canterbury; because there are no places in the boarding school at the school, the grandmother gratefully accepts the offer of his lawyer, Mr. Wickfield, to settle the boy with him. After the death of his wife, Mr. Wickfield, pouring sorrow, began to feed an immoderate addiction to the port; the only light of his life – the daughter of Agnes, the same age as David. For David, she also became a kind angel. In the legal office of Mr. Wickfield, Uriah Hip is a disgusting, red-haired, wriggling body, with uncovered red, without eyelashes, eyes, always cold and wet hands, to every phrase,
Dr. Strong’s school turns out to be the exact opposite of Mr. Creek’s school. David successfully studies, and happy school years, warmed by the love of my grandmother, Mr. Dick, the kind angel Agnes, fly instantly.
After graduation, the grandmother invites David to go to London, to visit Peggotty and, having rested, choose a cause for himself; David goes on a journey. In London, he meets Steerford, with whom he studied at Sal House. Steerford invites him to stay with his mother, and David accepts the invitation. In turn, David invites Steerford to go with him to Yarmouth.
They come to the boat house at the time of Emly and Ham’s engagement, Emly has grown and blossomed, women all over the county hate her for her beauty and her ability to dress with taste; she works as a seamstress. David lives in his nanny’s house, Steerford at the inn; David wanders around the graveyard around his own graves all day, Steerford goes to the sea, arranges feasts for sailors and enchants the entire population of the coast, “prompted by an unconscious desire to rule, an unconscious need to conquer, to win even what does not have any value for him.” How David will repent that he brought him here!
Stirford tempts Emily, and on the eve of the wedding she runs away with him, “to return the lady or not to return at all.” Ham’s heart is broken, he longs to forget himself in his work, Mr. Peggotty goes to look for Emly around the world, and Mrs. Gummidge remains in the boat-house only to have a light in the window, in case Amly comes back. For many years, there is no news about her, finally David learns that in Italy, Emly escaped from Steerford, when he, bored with it, invited her to marry her servant.
Grandma suggests that David choose the career of a lawyer-proctor in Doctor Commons. David agrees, the grandmother contributes a thousand pounds for his training, arranges his way of life and returns to Dover.
The independent life of David begins in London. He is happy to meet again Tommy Traddles, his friend in Sal House, who also works in the legal field, but, being poor, earns his living and training on his own. Traddles is betrothed and tells David passionately about his Sophie. David is also in love – in Dora, the daughter of Mr. Spenlow, the owner of the firm where he studies. Friends have something to talk about. Despite the fact that his life does not spoil, Traddles is surprisingly good-natured. It turns out that the owners of his apartment are the wife of Micawbera; they are, as usual, entangled in debts. David is glad to renew his acquaintance; Traddles and Micawbers form the circle of his communication, while the Micawbers do not go to Canterbury under the pressure of circumstances and are inspired by the hope that “happiness smiled at them”: Mr. Micawber got a job at the office “Wickfield and Hip”.
Uriah Heep, skillfully playing on Mr. Wickfield’s weakness, became his companion and gradually tidies up the office. He deliberately muddles accounts and shamelessly robs the firm and its customers, soliciting Mr. Wickfield and instilling in him the conviction that the cause of the plight is his drunkenness. He settles in Mr. Wickfield’s house and seeks Agnes. And Micawber, completely dependent on him, is hired to help him in his dirty business.
One of the victims of Uriah Heep is David’s grandmother. It is ruined; with Mr. Dick and with all the belongings, she comes to London, having rented her house in Dover to feed herself. David is not at all discouraged by this news; he goes to work as a secretary to Dr. Strong, who retired and settled in London; in addition, studies shorthand. Grandmother leads their farming so that David seems as if he has become not poorer, but richer; Mr. Dick earns a correspondence of papers. Having mastered the shorthand, David begins to earn very well as a parliamentary reporter.
Learning about the change in David’s financial position, Mr. Spenlow, Dora’s father, denies him the house. Dora is also afraid of poverty. David is inconsolable; but when Mr. Spenlow died suddenly, it turned out that his affairs were in complete disorder, – Dora, who now lives with his aunts, is not any richer than David. David is allowed to visit her; Aunt Dora got along very well with David’s grandmother. David is slightly embarrassed that everyone treats Dora like a toy; but she herself has nothing against it. Having reached adulthood, David marries. This marriage was short-lived: two years later, Dora dies before she can grow up.
Mr. Peggotty finds Emily; after much toil, she got to London, where Martha Endell, the fallen girl from Yarmouth, whom Emly had once helped, in turn rescues her and brings her to his uncle’s apartment. Mr. Peggotty now intends to emigrate to Australia, where no one will be interested in past Emly.
In the meantime, Mr. Micawber, unable to participate in the fraud of Uriah Heep, with the help of Traddles expose him. The good name of Mr. Wickfield is saved, the grandmother and other clients are returned. Full of gratitude, Miss Trotwood and David pay the bills of Micawber and lend to this glorious family of money: The Micawbers also decided to go to Australia. Mr. Wickfield liquidates the firm and retires; Agnes opens a school for girls.
On the eve of the ship sailing to Australia on the Yarmouth coast, a terrible storm happened – it killed the lives of Ham and Stirford.
After Dora’s death, David, who became a famous writer, travels to the continent to work through his grief. Returning in three years, he marries Agnes, who, as it turned out, loved him all his life. Grandmother finally became godmother of Betsey Trotwood Copperfield; Peggotty nurse the children of David; Traddles is also married and happy. The emigrants were perfectly settled in Australia. Uriah Heep is held in prison, run by Mr. Crick.
Thus, life has put everything in its place.