The theme of education in the novel by Charles D. Dickens “David Copperfield”

The theme of education in the novel by Charles D. Dickens “David Copperfield”

I understood very well that I had

Such tests, of which they are not

They can have no idea.

C. Dickens

The novel by Charles D. Dickens “David Copperfield” by genre is close to the so-called “novel of education”, which usually tells about the life of the hero from infancy to maturity. Before us is the story of a boy who became a famous writer.

Everything in man, good and bad, is laid down in childhood, so it is interesting to trace the influence of surrounding people and circumstances on the formation of the personality of the hero. Although Dickens describes David’s stay in two different schools, we understand that the main life lessons give him not teachers. The child’s share too soon fell severely, tempering the character and teaching to distinguish between good and evil.

A child who was loved and respected as a child, resists evil and violence much longer. Therefore, the most important thing for a little David was a short but cheerful and comfortable life with a kind, though frivolous mother and a loving, intelligent nurse Pegotti. The world around David is at first full of joy and kindness. And the boy grows kind, open and trustful. So he comes to the house of his future faithful friends, simple fishermen. He is surprised to learn that the nanny’s brother, Pegotti, who lives in the old boat, adopted two orphans, Emily and Ham, and sheltered the poor Mrs. Gummidge, whose husband died in the

sea. The harsh and dangerous life of fishermen has not hardened their hearts, they are ready to help and sympathize with anyone, even a boy from a well-to-do family whose mother died. It is very important for David,

But soon the boy had to learn that the world is inhabited not only by good friends. David’s mother got married, and Mr. Murdstone and his sister appeared in the house. They with cold cruelty punished for any disobedience of David and his meek, weak-willed mother. He was forbidden to play with peers and loaded additional lessons for errors in the answers. The first humiliating punishment – flogging causes a child to protest. After that, he is sent to a boarding house, to the realm of a vicious and stupid Creek, where a board with the inscription “Beware! Bites!” Hangs on the back of the child.

By this period is his first communication with peers, two of whom will remain his friends – a brilliant self-assured Steerforth and a cheerful good-natured Traddles. Two models of behavior, two different characters. The actions of these young men can be traced back to the basis of their future. Tommy Traddles, giving a friend in the form of consolation the only treasure – a pillow, will independently achieve success in life and resignedly, even happily, take charge of the numerous family of his wife. And Steerforth, who gives out the sad secret of teacher Mella and deprives him of a piece of bread, becoming an adult, will seduce and throw a simple girl Emily. David, although attached to Steerforth, vaguely understands all the unseemliness of his behavior in childhood. And Copperfield lacks the moral sense, not to follow it.

After the death of the mother, a ten-year-old boy Becomes a simple worker in a warehouse. David could easily connect with the London rabble and become a thief or a murderer. But he remembers the past life, wants to learn something, and most importantly – yearns for love and warmth. This is what makes the boy on foot walk away from London in search of his great-aunt, the eccentric but kind and determined Miss Trotwood. She takes care of her grandson. Grandmother gives David to school, and the school of the good, scattered scientist Strongle is not at all like Crick’s gloomy establishment. Here, children are treated with love and respect, trying to really equip them with knowledge.

Living in the house of the lawyer Wickfield, the boy begins to be friends with his daughter Agnes. Her calm, reasonable kindness often serves him as a support in life’s trials. But it is in this lovely house that David sees how weakness and addiction to alcohol make Mr. Wickfield the tool in the hands of Uriah Heep. The hideous type, which from his youth was accustomed to hypocrisy and ostentatious humility, gradually subordinates Wickfield himself and confuses the affairs of his clients. He wants to succeed in order to repay everyone for his past humiliations. And especially he hates Uriah David, who lives by other rules and openly despises hypocrisy. David is a gentle and gentle person. But he understands that evil must be resisted – otherwise it will become invulnerable, like the Murdstone. So David does not hesitate to slap Hipu, who wants to subordinate not only Wickfield, but also Agnes.

The fact that the hero of Dickens grew up as a decent person is a merit not only for himself, but also for the surrounding people – the nurse Pegotti and her brother, the loving grandmother, Agnes, Dr. Strongle, who taught him to resist evil, to work and support other people. He had a lot of trials, but they only hardened the boy’s soul and gave him bright impressions, which settled on the pages of books to help smarten and grow up to readers.


The theme of education in the novel by Charles D. Dickens “David Copperfield”