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Summary

Study Guide for Charles Dickens's David Copperfield including chapter summary, character analysis, and more. Learn all about David Copperfield, ask questions, and get the answers you need.

Overview

Book Basics

Author: Charles Dickens

Year Published: 1849–50

Type: Novel

Genre: Fiction

Perspective and Narrator:

David Copperfield is told from the first-person point of view of David Copperfield, the narrator and protagonist of the story. David, sometimes at the forefront of the action and sometimes an observer, examines the events of his life retrospectively.

Tense:

David Copperfield is told primarily in the past tense. However, the narrator uses present tense in Chapters 18, 43, 53, and 64 to make events told in retrospect appear immediate to readers.

About the Title:

In the fashion of many 19th-century novels that focus on a single character, the novel is titled simply David Copperfield, after its hero. However, the text was first published as The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to be Published on Any Account). This lengthy title highlights David Copperfield as the subject and narrator of the text, David's place in his family and the setting, and the autobiographical nature of the text; it also creates an intimacy with the reader who will learn David's secrets.

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