The protagonist of the novel by Charles D. Dickens “David Copperfield” in his youth consistently finds himself in two educational institutions, strikingly different from each other. Talking about the formation of the boy’s personality, Dickens shows us what a school should and should not be.
After the death of her husband, David’s mother married a second time to Mr. Murdstone, who immediately disliked the boy for direct and open temper. When he was a child, he was stunned with fear and almost did not remember what Mr. Murdstone’s sister was trying to teach him. When the boy decided to punish, he bit his father in desperation by the hand. After that, Brother and Sister Murdstone insisted that David be sent to the Salem House school.
In this school
Punishment, even if it is well deserved, should never be humiliating. And if a person wants to correct, he is not constantly reminded of past misdeeds. In Salem House everything was done in order to intimidate and break the students. The principal of the school, Mr. Creakle, was a rude and ignorant person. He beat the children for any offense and even without any guilt: “He beat the boys with such pleasure, as if he was quenching the wolfish hunger…” A former hopshopper, Cricle opened the school with the money of his wife. His assistant, a former companion, Tangay was earning, overhearing and doing meanness to pupils and teachers. The children at school were poorly fed and not well trained, because a clever, good teacher Mell did not know how to approach them. Cricle himself from all students singled out only Steerforth, who was fawning on him because of the wealth and influence of his mother.
Copperfield spent a little time at this school. Teaching interrupted the death of the mother. My stepfather did not want to pay for his training and made the boy a worker in a wine warehouse. Unable to withstand the hard work and loneliness, David fled to Grandmother Trotwood, who gave it to the school of Dr. Strong.
It was a completely different school. Even the classroom was not dusty and cluttered with old, scratched desks, but beautiful and bright. David, unaccustomed to studying, children’s games, sports, at first felt like a stranger. But no one reminded him of the past, no one laughed at his awkwardness and the fact that he had to study with the youngest, since David had forgotten a lot. And gradually Copperfield again became a child – cheerful, gullible, diligent. He really liked the new place of study: “Dr. Strong’s school was excellent and different from Mr. Crickle’s school as well as good from evil.” The students quickly became attached to the school and to the teachers, they learned willingly, they were proud of their school. Here they respected the child’s personality, trusted him, strove to develop the good that was inherent in him by nature. At the school, Dr. Strong was never humiliated by children, and little people appreciated it. Director Strong himself was not just kind, childishly gullible, but also very knowledgeable teacher. He was loved by the whole school, and even the mischievous never deceived him.
Such, according to Dickens, there must be a real school, which pupils are gratefully remembering all their lives. And if his hero Copperfield managed to remain a kind, sympathetic and honest man, then he owes it not only to his grandmother, nurse Peggotty and friends, but also to the atmosphere that reigned in Dr. Strong’s school.