David Copperfield Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of David Copperfield

David Copperfield's father dies 3 months before his birth. His mother, very young, pretty, and inexperienced, raises the boy with the help of her loyal maid, Clara Peggoty. Things go well, young Davy is growing up in a happy, loving home – until his mother marries again. Mr. Murdstone, Davy's stepfather, believes that “firmness” is the only way of dealing with boys. He ends up sending Davy away to a boarding school run by a cruel schoolmaster Mr. Creakle.
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When Davy's mother dies, Mr. Murdstone decides that even this kind of education is too good for his stepson and promptly gets rid of him by sending him to London, to work at a blacking factory. Davy is only 10 when that happens. After many trials, he decides to run away and search for his aunt, Betsy Trotwood, who eventually adopts him.

The second part of this novel shows the grown-up David Copperfield, he has completed his education and is apprenticed as a clerk to work in a law firm. He meets his boss's daughter Dora and falls in love. His feelings are returned, but Dora's father is furious when he finds out about the engagement. Meanwhile, David's aunt goes bankrupt, the family loses most of their possessions, and David has to work even harder in order to provide for himself and his loved ones.

The review of this Book prepared by Laura Southcombe

David Copperfield is the quintessential coming of age story where the young David flounders around foolishly for a time before finding his legs and going straight. In the mean time, the evil and revolting Uriah Heap (Dickens really had a thing about lawyers) has manipulated David's close friend's family into disaster in an attempt to force David's young lover to marry him. The conclusion is satisfying and surprising as Dickens was a master at both the hanging ending between chapters and the happy final ending.
The review of this Book prepared by Kelly Whiting

Chapter Analysis of David Copperfield

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   struggling to earn a living to survive Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   grade school Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   boarding school! (wack wack!)

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   business executive


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 ()    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes    -   Yes City:    -   London    -   London Century:    -   19th century

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged    -   like laughing Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much dialogue in bio?    -   mostly dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like David Copperfield

Charles Dickens Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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