Themes of David Copperfield

Themes of David Copperfield

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is the master of citing social issues that is David Copperfield has a variety of themes related to social issues and characterization. The most common theme is the class differences between different characters and how it relates to their morality. The main themes of the novel are:

Social class

Social class and status are omnipresent throughout the novel. Indeed, the novel can be seen on a large scale as a commentary on social dignity and an attempt at social dignity. Prejudice and unworthy respect are constantly displayed for the upper class. In the case of Steerforth, for example, it is clear that David and the other students at the school called “Salam House” are treated much lower than him. Moreover, he is highly respected by David and even Mr. Peggotty and Ham, both of whom are inferior but true that Steerforth should respect them for their moral character.

The importance of life choices

Charles Dickens’s abandoned autobiography was very much on his mind when he was writing David Copperfield, and his protagonists choose many of his life choices as a reflection of Dickens’ own life. Dickens’ father rescues him from warehouse work, but David Copperfield is an orphan, so he chooses his first important life choice to escape from the warehouse, which is completely autobiographical. Afterward, Miss Betsey and Agnes help guide him in his choices. Agnes, for example, patiently listens to the fancy attitudes of David’s other women. It is her steadfast support that makes it possible for David to finally achieve the family life which he has long wanted. The key to recovery from weak choices is to learn from them, as he learns from his relationship with Dora. Dickens shows that those who do not analyze and learn their life choices like Steerforth and Uriah Heep do not grow or succeed in life.


David Copperfield’s journey through life is a model of the reward of perseverance against adversity. Even before the test of his perseverance through personalization and hard work, he quietly maintains his self-identity under the control of Mr. Murdstone. He does this by keeping himself busy in reading, and through his deep reading, he is introduced to heroes who persevere against even death threats. Later in his life, David’s imagination helps him to master his heroic fantasies and adapt to his livelihood needs.

Equality in marriage

In the world of novel, marriages have achieved success because of the equality between husband and wife in their relationship. For example, the conjugal life of Doctor Strong and his wife. Both of them don’t think that the other is inferior. In contrast, Dickens criticizes characters who try to create a sense of superiority over their spouse. Mr. Murdstone’s attempt to improve the character of David’s mother, for example, only ruins her soul.

The search for true happiness

Throughout the novel, many times the search for true happiness is of paramount importance. The narrator mentions the particularly innocent joy of David as a child before his mother’s marriage to Mr. Murdstone. In general, the plot centers on David’s quest for true happiness, and it is up to the judge to decide whether he succeeds or not.

All the characters relentlessly try to find their own routes. Some, like David and the Peggottys, find true happiness through their familial relationship. Others, such as Micawbers and Uriah, believe that money will bring them a lot of happiness. Still others, such as Dora, find happiness in simple and frivolous pleasures. Thus, Dickens raises the question of whether any of these characters can ever find true happiness because each of these approaches to happiness just leads them to opinions and feelings.

Click here: for notes of the novels

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
Articles: 380

Leave a Reply

error: Sorry !!