Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. How does the idea of constancy of emotion and love figure into the novel and illuminate David’s character?
2. How does the fact that the novel was published serially affect its structure? What devices does Dickens use to make the novel coherent for readers who received the text piecemeal?
3. How does Dickens use contrasting pairs of characters to illustrate good and evil in the novel?
Suggested Essay Topics
1 . How does foreshadowing contribute to the overall narrative flow of david copperfield?
2 . How does David’s perspective as an adult narrator shape our understanding of the different characters in the novel?
3 . The idea of redemption plays an important role in the latter part of the novel. What are the key elements of redemption for Dickens? What makes Little Em’ly redeemable while Littimer is not?
4 . What role do minor characters such as Miss Dartle, Mr. Omer, and Mr. Spenlow play in the novel?
5 . What is the importance of motherhood in the novel? How does motherhood figure into Dickens’s exploration of the strong’s domination over the weak?
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