Fourth installment of Z.I. Mahmud’s thesis on Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield

Discussion related to the motivation and inspiration behind the foreshadowed novel David Copperfield Or The Purpose of Preferences and Study Of The Text

Dickensian scholars and Dickensian studies would be adventuresome pursuit with the prospective narrative: David Copperfield. Fostering mainstream consciousness and dreaming socialist spiritual civilization parallels both traditional and modern critics radically. Glimpses of Victorian lifestyles, Dover countryside, Canterbury tales, lamp posts and carriage coaches of London streets, and Kent seashore cherish the readers with delight, ecstasy, glee, emotional or sentimental temperament for a life time awakening. 

In the valedictory note, it is essential to denote that reading David Copperfield’s imaginative characters in the fictional biography improves proficiency of creative faculties, strengthening cognitive function,germinating fruits of endeavor, resilience and endurance, awakening hearts and bosoms to grow and develop philanthropy, boosting humanitarian feelings and ennobling humane attitudes.

Consulted Works Or References Or Further Reading & Bibliography

David Copperfield’s Agnes Negotiating An Ideal by Adam Gregory Pence, A thesis presented for the BA degree with Honours in The Department of English University of Michigan, Spring 2000.

Death And Inscriptions With Respect To David Copperfield, Great Expectations and Charles Dickens, Anna Foley’s thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of the Master in Arts in English in the University of Canterbury, 2003. 
Charles Dickens’Great Expectations Penguin Classics Edition Review - A Moral Fable Appeasing Rhetoric With Laughter’s Appeal

Introductory thesis statements

Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is indeed the masterpiece classic with the dignity or statute of luminary or phosphorescent best seller editions, cataloging as autobiographical genre in the literary fiction shelf. Notably, Penguin Classics Edition, globally have attracted the fancy of millions of readers or reviewers. 544 pages biographical literary fiction genre written or anthologized by Charlotte Mitchell of the UK Penguin Classics publication retail price makers sells the novel at UK pounds 5.99.

Genesis of the Background

Historically Great Expectations was authored by the Victorian novelist Charles Dickens incidentally after the periodical publication of David Copperfield somewhat between 1860 and 1861. Great Expectations’ somber psychological, moral and comic  temperament paraphrases or allegorizes Victorian livelihood, cultural tradition and societal lifestyles; themes or subject matter of parents and children, power and powerlessness, aristocracy and genteelness, fantasies and reality, vanity and gratitude. 

Great Expectations’ Bildungsroman genre illustrates the process of self -discovery and maturation through experience different  phases of life cycle as the protagonist moves through the Victorian Era with gas lamps lit night and daylight darkened by black clouds of smokestacks.

Dickensian characterization has attained the wholesome attributes of human psyche and surpassed contemporaries (critical realists of the 1840s and 50s connoting William Makepeace Thackeray, the Bronte Sisters, George Elliot, Thomas Hardy and so on) so critics or reviewers have bequeathed Dickens with intelligent anecdotes of critical appreciations.

The definition of distinguished Victorian gentleman has been idealized by Charles Dickens in the reformation, apprenticeship, education or moral improvisation, psychological culmination, Bildungsroman rumination of the hero or narrator Pip.

Melodramatic exaggerations have been reflected in the comic or witty characters until realities fade away. “Haughty spirits” and “freakish eccentricities” of Miss Havisham especially pervaded even David Copperfield despite mastery or popularity. Philip Pirrip Pip, the heroic character or narrator protagonist, Miss Joe Gargery, the dictatorial disciplinarian motherly figure who uses the ironical menacing “tickler” to abuse Pip. Mr. Joe Gargery, the backsmith whose warmth and generosity shields Pip’s against adversaries amongst the countryside forge cottage of Kent and recreational Three Jolly Bargeman. 

In Kent’s seashore southeastern England, Dickens spent the first nine years of his childhood. Mr. Wopsle, the  pontificating dramatic clerk of the parish braging thrown open to commoner, Uncle Pumblechook, Joe’s self-important relation who acts in concert with Mrs. Joe and Mr./Mrs. Hubble who despise children and they were wheelwrights (they are minor characters in the novel). 

Abel Magwitch, the lately benefactor and earlier gypsy convict or prisoner, Estella, the unrequited heroine, minor character Mr. Compeyson, the husbandly figure who materializes Miss Havisham’s heart or the second convict or escapee, Mrs. Wopsle, the aunt of Mr. Wopsle, educating elementary students at school in evenings. Miss Havisham, the haughty spirited dowager or mysterious spinster with opulent dwelling (ironically Satis House gilded and ornate crumbling ruins of a gothic mansion and cold winds blow at the rotting barrels of dilapidated brewery) with her adopted daughter, Miss Estella, the idealized vanity or ambition maiden whose name connote star in literary terms. 

Biddy, the resident store keeper beneath the school, teaching assistant to Ms. Wopsle, her grandmom, minor dwarfian dramatist persona characters include those wedding feats relations jockeying for favour of Miss Havisham (They were Sarah Pocket,  Georgiana, Camilla and Raymond). Sarah Pocket frequently visits Miss Havisham to assure herself of a generous bestowed endowment and she dislikes her brother Mathew Pocket. Dolge Orlick, the malignant labour whose torments the Joe household and the vengeful devilish antagonist. 

Jaggers, the lawyer of Abel Magwitch and Miss Havisham whose solicitation benefit inheritance funding and adoption lawsuits. Clara Barley, the fiancée of Herbert Pocket. Jaggers’ law clerk Wemmick was hard, cynical, obsessed and sarcastic. (Wemmick jovial or wry caretaker or caregive of aged parent and even Walworth manor. Miss Skiffins marries Wemmick). Bentley Drummle, the tout whom Estella engages into matrimonial alliance. Startop, the tutelage of Herbert’s academia and organizers of Magwitch’s escape. Last but not the least, minor personality Molly, the biological mother of Estella living in Jaggers’ shelter as disguised housekeeper.

Cliffhanger denote the dramatic and exciting ending to an episode of a serial leaving readers or audience in suspense and intrigued or spellbound not to miss the next episode. Cliffhanger or a cliffhanger ending is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of a serialized fiction. This incentivizes the audience to return to see how the characters resolve the dilemma.

Symbolism (literary figurative trope to differentiate literally the object or action having multi layers of interpretation) or metaphorical imageries contrasting naturalism and realism in Dickens’ Great Expectations. “The sun was striking in at the great windows of the court, through the glittering drops of rain upon the glass, and it made a broad shaft of light between the two and-thirty and the judge.”

Dickensian characterization enthralls and enlivens reader or critics with metaphors and personification alike symbolism and cliffhangers discusses earlier.

Figurative or rhetorical devices: Metaphor is a figure of speech such a word or phrase symbolically allegorizing the aspects of characters to objects or actions which is not literally applicable. 

“Humbugs” and “toads” are recurrent metaphors in Dickensian characters’ description. At Satis House, the wedding feast invited guests the flatterer Sarah Pocket, Georgiana, Mrs. Camilla and Mr. Raymond are metaphorically “toads’’ and “humbugs” to the narrators’ psyche. “Humbugs” and “toads” symbolically allegorizes a branded individuals with peculiarities figuratively and literally they have the etymological or lexical inferences; humbug: artifice of a crooked fellow to adopting dishonesty and toad: a tailess amphibian with warty skin and stout bodily figure secreting poison. 

Personification, as a literary figurative speech, embodies or caricatures characterization with subtle abstraction. Miss Havisham, the haughty spinster and eccentric figure wearing of a wedding whitish bridal attire covering veil personifies “grave or burial dress” and “shroud” apparently. Moreover, the wedding feast banquet table infested with vermin and insects embodies of frosty fungus and mortifying decay. To the narrator’s voice, Miss Havisham hangs over the beam as if she is the resurrected image of living death hanging over the deathly gallows.

In figurative language, antithesis is a rhetorical device or figure of speech referred to a person or a thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something.

Wemmick’s personified non-identical twin images is a perfect epitome with contrasting Wemmick of Little Britain and Castle of Walworth.

Visual imageries from the novel illustrate these exemplary quotes, “I saw that the lamps in the courts were blown out, and that the lamps on the bridges were shuddering, and that the coal fires in barges on the river were being carried away before the wind-like red-hot splashes in the rain.”

Dickens loves feasts and scorns fasts as references from the narrative exemplify the Christmas Dinner scene. Oxford Academic Journal published critic Barbara Hardy argues that foods weren’t Dickens’ gluttony for gourmet rather they had been nothing but lovely ceremonies of sociability. Christmas dinner and the English geniality or gregariousness or bluffness of the pub setting weren’t sentimentalized as isolated institutions of goodwill. 

Good will connotes to the hospitality, amiable affinity, cheeriness, conviviality or chumminess which were ironically conventional curtailed hunger or poverty from the window.

Barbara Hardy acclaims meals- beyond the giving, receiving, eating, and serving of food in her essays in criticism: Food in Great Expectations. “These values maybe summed up as good appetite without greed, hospitality without show, and ceremony without pride or condescension.”

Furthermore, good housekeeping practice can be compared with the nourishing and well ordered meals.

Play within a play occurs when Pip feels connected with the implication of guilt and vindictive proclamation. George Barnwell, a criminal in a play Wolspe reads who is sentenced to the gallows. “Deathly gallows” symbolic of Pip’s psychological distress traumatized at the news of parting with Estella. Estella, the fancy of Dickens deserted into forlorn since Estella went abroad.

More next month!

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