David Copperfield

Discuss David Copperfield as a novel of child psychology

David Copperfield Novel

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Dickens apparently is fascinated with children, and this novel examines in detail how children are treated. The narrator mentions near the beginning of the novel how impressive it is that children can remember so many details so clearly, and he claims that he is proud to have such a childlike memory himself.

Furthermore, the simpler, more childlike characters are among the sweetest in the novel. For example, Tommy Traddles is very simple and sweet in demeanor, and he goes on to be a successful lawyer, engaged to a beautiful, generous woman. Dora Spenlow may not know how to do household chores, but her devotion to David is extremely touching and admirable, and it wins David's heart. Finally, Mr. Dick, very simple-minded, is perhaps the best-liked character in the novel.

Childlike simplicity and innocence thus are valued in the moral world of the novel. When Dickens writes scenes that show cruelty to children, he most likely is demonstrating an evil to raise readers’ passions against such cruelty.