David Copperfield

Review Date: 05/24/2018 Dickens, Charles
Grades: 9 - 12
(Pages refer to Penguin Classics Edition).A typical (long) novel of Dickens. An orphan struggles to make it in the world, overcomes cruel circumstances, finds a savior in a eccentric great aunt, eventually becomes a successful author. Lots of intertwined plots and romance of the old fashioned variety. Minor Religion. Refers to friend/girlfriend as a "lover". Old fashioned romantic negiah usually of the soon to be married variety or at dances. Long and detailed description of a marriage between a mature young man and an immature flighty girl and how he made the best of it even though he realized they were not well matched. One story line involves a young girl married to a man many years her senior and everyone's suspicions that she is having an affair with a younger man - turns out to be not true.Describes in detail some adults who treat children cruelly and some who don’t. Lots of youthful crushes, some flirting, some juvenile kissing and mild negiah. Quote about the resurrection – p. 142 chap 9.. Black and white illustration of women nursing a baby – somewhat detailedLanguage – stupid, drat (p 120 chap 8) For C___ sake (p 345 chap 22)One important story line about an upper class boy who seduces a lower class girl who is engaged to someone else and they run away together until he abandons her. She is so ashamed she moves to Australia.Penguin Classics Edition- IntroductionP. xxii – reference to home for “fallen women” - prostitutes in AustraliaCliff’s NotesOverall, much more subtle than usual but a few problems. Reviews a few of boy’s childhood crushes clearly noting a kiss (eg chapters 9-10) and co-ed dancing (chapters 17-18). Alludes to a character as being a “fallen woman” but doesn’t explain. Describes how she “flirts” because the one she really loves is talking to another man (chap 33-34).Chap 47-48 woman wants to commit suicide (not clear in book)Chap 43-44 says author married Catherine Hogarth even though apparently cared more for wife’s sister.Spark NotesOverall, not much more problematic than the book itself, but uses different labels for things that are problematic – eg, says a character is suspected of having an “affair” with her cousin. No mention of prostitution.