When an author like Dickens says that one of his novels is his favorite, you know that it’s something amazing! And that’s exactly what he said about David Copperfield, commonly considered his most autobiographical work. So much so that even the initials of the main character and the author are the same – only inverted!
David Copperfield is a book that nearly everyone has read (or made to read) during their school years. But if you’ve never read the original, unabridged version, it is strongly recommended you do so! Dickens brings to life 19th century London, with many colorful characters that are characteristic of his stories.
David’s life starts off relatively happily, but the entry of a stepfather makes his life take a turn for the worse. Dickens goes into great detail to explain the various atrocities meted out on children – in schools, on the streets and in work places. Children were often exploited and made to do hard work in exchange for a paltry sum of money or meals. But David’s misfortunes end when he meets his aunt, the immensely interesting Betsey Trotwood.
Ms. Trotwood is just one of the many, many characters in David’s life and keeping track of all of them is quite a task! Midway through the story, you might have to turn back a few pages to remember who a certain person is. But that’s the fun of reading Dickens; you never know who might come up to change the story around!
David Copperfield is basically a growing up story. From a boy with no clear path in front of him, David learns from his mistakes and makes his way. I feel that an interesting aspect of this book is that it has many sub plots with the other characters, and Dickens does justice to them by resolving their stories satisfactorily enough. And since by the end of the book all of them feel like your friends too, you feel good knowing that they are settled down and happy!