736 Seiten, Taschenbuch
Der Inhalt ist schwer zu beschreiben.
In den mehr als 700 Seiten begleitet man David Copperfield durch sein Leben. Beginnend mit seiner Geburt, zu seiner Kindheit als Vollwaise, wie er sich hocharbeitet und schließlich ein erfolgreicher Autor wird. Man findet sehr viele autobiografische Elemente.
Man begegnet vielen sehr interessanten Personen. Es wäre da Davids Tante, die anfangs nichts von ihm wissen will, weil er ein Junge ist. Ihr Charakter macht meiner Meinung nach die größte Veränderung durch. Dann sind da die Micawbers, die trotz ihres finanziellen Notstands ihr Leben genießen und zeigen, dass Familie mehr wert ist als alles andere. Und natürlich, nicht zu vergessen, Uriah Heep, der Fiesling.
Ich möchte hier nicht zu viel verraten. Die Vielschichtigkeit der Charaktere, die in so vielem deutlich werden: ihren Handlungen, ihren Aussagen, ihrer Sprache,… . Charles Dickens beschreibt diese mit viel Liebe.
Und zwischen den Zeilen findet man immer wieder sehr lustige Elemente und Details, die das Buch ausmachen.
Manchmal musste ich mich durchkämpfen, aber ich denke, das gehört bei Klassikern manchmal dazu Alles in allem hat mir das Buch aber wirklich sehr gut gefallen und ich empfehle es weiter.
Ich habe für meine Schule einen Aufsatz über dieses Buch geschrieben. Es ist zwar auf Englisch, aber ich denke, dass dürfte den meisten nichts ausmachen Ich weiß nicht, ob er euch interessiert, aber ich wollte ihn euch nicht vorenthalten.
PS: Sorry für den sehr schnulzigen Schluss. Habe alle Rechtschreibfehler, die mein Lehrer angemerkt hat, verbessert. Eventuelle Tippfehler dürft ihr behalten
Titel: „What insights did David Copperfield give you into human nature and British Society? Do you think people have changed that much?”
Probably everybody has heard of David Copperfield, but most people would associate the name with the famous magician who is known all over the world. However, it was actually Charles Dickens who created this character in the middle of the 19th century.
In his novel “The personal history and experience of David Copperfield the younger” Charles Dickens describes life in Britain during the Victorian Age. Through the eyes of his protagonist David, he criticizes several aspects and conditions at a time, when Britain was the major power in the world and industrialization was in progress.
First of all, the reader gets an insight into what family life was like back then. The family Copperfield-Murdstone illustrates very well the role of every member. David’s father dies six months before he’s born, so David never gets to know him. Until the age of five or six, he lives a very happy life with his mother and their housekeeper Peggotty. But life changes when his mother marries again, Mr Murdstone. Mr Murdstone is the typical image of a father in the 19th century: He’s the “big boss” of the family, his wife has to be a good housewife and obedient to him and their children have no rights. Murdstone’s cruelty is very well portrayed when he asks David what he would do with an obstinate horse or dog and answers that he would beat him. He compares David with an animal and David learns very soon that he has to obey his stepfather. Men during that time also often wanted to educate their wives. There you can also see a similarity between David’s mother and David’s first wife Dora Spenlow. They both describe themselves as being “a little inexperienced and childish”, although Mr Murdstone’s “lessons” are of course more cruel than David’s attempts to make a good housewife of Dora (which actually never works out).
In fact there are some similarities between family life back then and today. In some cultures, especially in countries like Afghanistan, women are still treated like that, maybe even worse. Sometimes you can even observe this in western countries. However, you must admit that circumstances in most industrialized countries are much better today.
Secondly, “David Copperfield” gives a good insight into the educational system during the Victorian Age. After David bites his stepfather, he is sent to Salem House. He observes that the building has an “unfurnished appearance”, the schoolroom is “the most forlorn and desolate place he had ever seen”. Nice and clean schools were not important and the money was rather paid to strict teachers than to make schools a better place. No wonder that Mr Creakle, the headmaster, is a friend of Mr Murdstone and lets David wear a placard with the text: “Take care of him. He bites”. This illustrates very well the methods teachers practiced during that time.
Today, most of these strict teachers have disappeared, but both Mr Murdstone and Mr Creakle show how power can make a person act. Even nowadays powerful people misuse their influence and other people have to suffer from them.
This point leads us to one of the most evil characters in literature: Uriah Heep. We get to know him as Mr Wickfield’s employee. Already at their first meeting, David has a bad impression of him: “It [=Uriah’s] was such an uncomfortable hand” and his behavior “was very ugly”. Uriah’s outside appearance reflects his character, as we get to know later. He wants to take over the firm of Mr Wickfield and for him, all means are good. He manipulates others (especially Mr Wickfield) and wants to marry Wickfield’s daughter Agnes in order to come to money. Eventually, all of Uriah’s crimes are discovered and he is sent to prison to lead an “(h)umble” life… (He always describes himself as being very, very ‘umble).
We can find people like him everywhere today, especially in business. Even if methods nowadays may be different, you could say that Uriah planned a “hostile takeover” which is also common today. A lot of people manipulate others in order to become richer and more influential. Maybe these days there are even more evil people like Uriah as globalization changes people’s way of thinking and most business people only want to be richer and richer.
All in all you could say that there are numerous aspects in which social criticism is shown in Charles Dickens work(s). Dickens illustrates it in much detail. What is, to me, however, most important is the message that his works have: Often poor people are much happier (which you can see in Micawber family) and have a better family life than rich upper-class people. Money can buy anything, but it can’t buy love and friendship.