David Copperfield Summary By Charles Dickens

David Copperfield Summary By Charles Dickens

David Copperfield is a novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1850. It is a bildungsroman, or coming-of-age story, that follows the life of the titular character, David Copperfield, from childhood to adulthood. The novel is considered one of Dickens's most autobiographical works, drawing heavily on his own experiences and memories. The story is set in early 19th-century England and explores themes of class, social mobility, love, and personal growth. David Copperfield has been widely adapted for film, stage, and television, and remains a beloved classic of English literature.

David Copperfield Summary By Charles Dickens

About Writer

Charles Dickens was a 19th-century English novelist and social critic who is considered one of the most important and influential writers of the Victorian era. Born in 1812 in Portsmouth, England, Dickens grew up in a lower-middle-class family and began working in a factory at the age of 12 after his father was imprisoned for debt. He later worked as a law clerk and a journalist before turning to writing novels.

Dickens's novels often explored the social conditions of Victorian England, particularly the lives of the working class and the poor. His works were popular with readers and critics alike, and he became one of the most successful authors of his time. His stories were serialized in newspapers and magazines, allowing them to reach a wide audience.

Some of Dickens's most famous works include Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities. He was also known for his colorful characters, vivid descriptions of everyday life, and his use of humor and satire to comment on social issues. Many of his stories have become classics of English literature and have been adapted for stage and screen.

In addition to his writing, Dickens was also an active social commentator and philanthropist. He used his platform to advocate for social reform and to highlight issues such as poverty, child labor, and education. He was involved in numerous charities and organizations, including the Ragged Schools, which provided education for poor children, and the Home for Homeless Women and the Industrial Home for Destitute Girls.

Dickens's personal life was marked by scandal and controversy. He had a difficult marriage, which ended in separation, and had numerous affairs throughout his life. He was also known for his public speaking engagements, which were often theatrical performances rather than straightforward lectures.

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Dickens died in 1870 at the age of 58, leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest writers of his time. His influence can still be seen today in literature, film, and popular culture. His works continue to be studied and enjoyed by readers around the world.


David Copperfield is a novel by Charles Dickens, published serially from 1849 to 1850 and in book form in 1850. The novel tells the story of David Copperfield, a young man who grows up in Victorian England and experiences numerous trials and tribulations as he seeks to find his place in the world.

The novel begins with the birth of David Copperfield in 1820 in Blunderstone, Suffolk, England. David's father dies before he is born, and his mother remarries a cruel and abusive man named Edward Murdstone. David's early life is marked by tragedy and hardship as he endures the cruelty of his stepfather and the loss of his mother. Eventually, David is sent away to a boarding school, where he befriends a boy named James Steerforth and meets a kind-hearted teacher named Mr. Creakle.

After leaving school, David goes to live with his eccentric Aunt Betsey Trotwood, who takes an interest in his education and well-being. However, Betsey's financial advisor, Mr. Wickfield, is being manipulated by his clerk, Uriah Heep, who is secretly scheming to gain control of Wickfield's business. David also becomes romantically involved with a beautiful and vivacious young woman named Dora Spenlow, but their marriage is short-lived due to Dora's poor health and fragile nature.

Throughout the novel, David encounters a cast of memorable characters, including the faithful and kind-hearted Mr. Micawber, the cruel and manipulative Uriah Heep, and the enigmatic and elusive Mr. Murdstone. David also experiences a number of setbacks and disappointments, including financial difficulties, professional failures, and the loss of loved ones.

Despite these challenges, David perseveres and eventually finds happiness and success as a writer and a husband. He marries his childhood sweetheart, Agnes Wickfield, and begins a new chapter in his life, marked by love, fulfillment, and contentment.

In many ways, David Copperfield is a reflection of Dickens' own life and experiences. Like David, Dickens grew up in poverty and struggled to find his place in the world. He also endured numerous setbacks and hardships before finding success as a writer. The novel is also notable for its vivid and memorable characters, its portrayal of social and economic issues of the time, and its exploration of the themes of love, loss, and redemption.

Overall, David Copperfield is a timeless and enduring work of literature that continues to captivate readers with its compelling characters, intricate plot, and vivid portrayal of life in Victorian England.

David Copperfield Themes

"David Copperfield" is a novel that explores several themes such as the struggle for personal identity, class conflict, the impact of childhood experiences on adult life, the nature of family and relationships, and the corrupting influence of wealth and power. In this section, we will discuss some of the major themes in the novel:

  • The struggle for personal identity: The protagonist, David Copperfield, goes through a journey of self-discovery as he tries to find his place in the world. He struggles to overcome the trauma of his childhood and develop a sense of self-worth. He seeks to establish his own identity, independent of the expectations of his society, family, and peers. This theme is exemplified in his relationship with Steerforth, who tries to mold him into his own image, and in his longing for a stable family life.
  • The impact of childhood experiences on adult life: David's childhood experiences, particularly the loss of his mother, the harsh treatment by his stepfather, and the mistreatment at the hands of Mr. Murdstone, have a profound impact on his adult life. The novel shows how these experiences shape his character, his attitudes towards love and relationships, and his view of the world. The theme is also reflected in the lives of other characters, such as Uriah Heep, whose miserable childhood shapes his manipulative behavior as an adult.
  • Class conflict: The novel portrays the class conflict of Victorian society, where the gap between the rich and the poor was immense. The characters are divided into different social classes, and their interactions highlight the tension and conflicts that arise due to these differences. David's success as a writer and his social mobility provide a commentary on the ability of individuals to rise above their social station.
  • The nature of family and relationships: The novel explores the complex nature of family and relationships, particularly the tension between familial obligations and individual desires. David's relationships with his mother, stepfather, and aunt reflect the complexity of family dynamics, and the novel depicts the fragility and fluidity of relationships.
  • The corrupting influence of wealth and power: The novel shows how wealth and power can corrupt individuals and lead them down a destructive path. The character of Mr. Murdstone, who seeks to control and manipulate David, is a prime example of this theme. The novel also shows the negative impact of wealth and power on characters such as James Steerforth, who uses his wealth and social status to indulge in his vices.


David Copperfield is a masterful work of literature that explores the many facets of human experience. Through the eyes of the protagonist, we witness the struggles, triumphs, and tribulations of life, as well as the power of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Charles Dickens masterfully weaves together various themes such as the power of love, the impact of social class, and the struggle for personal identity, creating a story that is both engaging and thought-provoking. The characters are well-developed and each plays an important role in the narrative, allowing readers to see how their actions and decisions impact the lives of those around them.

David Copperfield remains a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers today. Its themes and messages are just as relevant now as they were when the book was first published, making it a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of the human experience.


Q. Who is the author of David Copperfield?

Ans. David Copperfield is a novel written by Charles Dickens, a prominent British novelist of the 19th century. It was first published as a serial in 1849-1850 and later released as a complete novel in 1850.

Q. Is David Copperfield based on Charles Dickens' life?

Ans. Yes, David Copperfield is largely based on Charles Dickens' own life. Dickens drew on his own experiences and emotions to create the character of David Copperfield, and many of the novel's events and characters are believed to be reflections of people and situations from Dickens' own life.

Q. How long is David Copperfield?

Ans. David Copperfield is a lengthy novel, with the full text consisting of 61 chapters and approximately 358,000 words. It is one of Dickens' longest works and is known for its richly detailed descriptions and complex plot.



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