Third Installment of Z.I. Mahmud’s thesis on David Copperfield

Charles Dickens’ fictional characters depict and portray autobiographical sketches exhibiting the transcendental life experiences, memoirs and events, nostalgia and reminiscences.  In English Literature William Shakespeare’s unparalleled characterization interestingly awakened spirituality and morality in the enterprise of Dickensian characters. This reincarnation of visages or dispositions in the Dickensian prose avidly vivify rhetoric and prosody, figurative language and enjambment. Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield although tricky to be demystified by biographers or critics alike, nevertheless, the intricate details of the 800 pages narrative fascinate the fancy of reading literary fiction. Both modern and traditional critics paraphrase Dickens’ David Copperfield as supernal and infernal forces universalizing the cosmos. Theatrical stages are filming the document from biographical archives.

 Victorian family life sketches emphasize memory and memorializing of the deceased. Grief and acceptance of death should be lamentable atonement through absorption in the memories of lost relationships as explicitly remarked by psychiatrist Beverley Raphael. Omer, the decent grave undertaker and Mr. Chillip, the family physician in David Copperfield psychologically counseling David in periods of ignorance, immaturity, inexperience or fear of death pertaining to the subtlety or inevitability of bereavement. Sense of security, contemplative self or skeptical judgment reinforced David to idealise his mother on the brink of her death. David abhors the remarriage of Clara Copperfield with snobbish Mr. Murdstone.

David felt extreme reluctance and abrogation to work in Murdstone and Granby warehouse. “no words can express the secret agony of my soul as I sink into this low companionship[…]and felt my hopes of being a learned and distinguished man, crushed in my bosom.”  Miserable existence and macabre state reflected with bigoted and radicalized David. However, David’s preservation for the fragile self-constructed identity  reiterates despite class snobbery and hurdles or struggles, “Yet I hold some station at Murdstone and Grinby’s too.” Despite this psychological distance reflects in “Though perfectly familiar with, my conduct and manner were different enough from theirs to place a space between us.” Boisterous nerve and gallantry of prowess manifested the working class or proletariat with scanty meals. David, recollects subtly […] prowling around the streets at meal times“.

Multilingualism and multiculturalism as discussed earlier in the introductory statements of the essay, Dickensian novel David Copperfield touches these aspects through the demanours of Yarmouth community. Socio linguists repertoire or repository of reading materials can be extracted or referenced. David remarks the change in her[Emily’s] demeanour Dan says fondly that her heart is so loving that she feels such things keenly: “It’s na’tral in young folk […] when they’re new to these here trails, and timid.”           

Optimistic glorious brilliances advantages and pessimistic drawbacks of the novel David Copperfield in feminist criticism

Dickens intimates the novel with sheer brilliance of feminist idealization in the character of Agnes Wickfield. Crooked are those defamatory critics proclaiming Dickensian prose as misogynist. Despite tenderness and reconciliation  of addictiveness for Agnes, Mr. Wickfield’s withdrawal effervescence occurred. “Brooding state”, “moody” temperament, “despondency”, “delirious restlessness” of masculine characterization of Mr. Wickfield parallels with melancholic trepidation and one motive in life. “Agnes set glasses and a decanter of port wine.” By and by, Agnes fulfills symbiotic relationship with the ever loving parent Mr. Wickfield  imitating “Angel of Perfection”. However, Agnes’ perfectionism contrast parallels in sacrifice and bequeathing immortal laurels of “Angel of Death”. Victorian society, anticipates the incidents of women’s emancipation through the self -employment and embellishing careers as teachers and governess. In this life struggles, Agnes maintains the large housekeeping existence through sustaining Mr. Wickfield financially and emotionally by the end of the novel.

Another aspect of disparagement amongst critics or readers is essential to distinguish in the light of abhorrence of psychological conflict with opposite sex. Betsey Trotwood, the stereotypical spinster, whose character redeems the facsimile or replica of Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. “There must be no mistakes in life with this”, Betsey’s rhetoric parallels analogy with that of “There must be no triffle with emotions”, Miss Havisham. Janet, the maid housekeeper of Ms. Betsey was a bachelorette, maiden, quasi-daughter of Miss. Betsey Trotwood. Janet’s diminutive Jenny symbolically feminine donkeys though tolerable insight, nonetheless, male donkeys and drivers were admonished spontaneously by the lady Betsey. Eventually David’s reunion with Betsey furthered comradeship with the angelic Agnes in London holidays redeemed. Everlasting imaginary god daughter, Betsey Trotwood’s ‘sensory illusion met fulfillment or fruition; since London home reminded the nostalgic native Dover shore countryside cottage.

Mysteries and confusions, ambiguities and secrets sometimes personify out of context exaggeration. “Littimer” depicts the symbolic seashore of David’s mind and memory. The prison scene associated with three penitents ironically drives the illusory stigma experienced by Copperield. David and Uriah Heep share the transcendental reformation, “with Littimer symbolizing a resolution within Copperfield’s memory”.

Exportation of characters to Australia in the aspirational hope that blessed fortunes dwell in that nirvana. Ironicaly, Mr. Micawber’s migration drift symbolic of the idealized Eden or heavenly solitude. This cannot be remedied as perfectionist prevalence but rather idiosyncrasy. Mr. Micawber’s fame spread there as a reputable magistrate settling corporate legal affairs or financial lawsuits in eminence. Readers or critics become skeptically introspective whether the idealization of the character of Agnes have blossomed in the deputation of characters to Australia.  

More next month!