Course Hero. "David Copperfield Study Guide." Course Hero. 12 Dec. 2016. Web. 30 May 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/David-Copperfield/>.
Course Hero. (2016, December 12). David Copperfield Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/David-Copperfield/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "David Copperfield Study Guide." December 12, 2016. Accessed May 30, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/David-Copperfield/.
Course Hero, "David Copperfield Study Guide," December 12, 2016, accessed May 30, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/David-Copperfield/.
Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe explains the motifs in Charles Dickens's novel David Copperfield.
The motif of the undisciplined heart represents immaturity, particularly in making romantic choices. Several of the characters, including David Copperfield, have a tendency to fall in love based on physical attraction. David is impressed when Annie Strong says she's glad she didn't allow her undisciplined heart to lead her into what would have been a very unhappy marriage to Jack Maldon. David recognizes he's prone to letting his undisciplined heart lead him to make unwise, immature life choices.
David Copperfield uses the metaphor of chopping down trees in the forest of difficulty to represent the hard work ahead of him when he decides he must learn the difficult skill of taking shorthand while also holding down two jobs. He needs to learn shorthand so he can improve his income enough to support his aunt and marry Dora. To inspire himself to persist in his task, he imagines himself as a heroic woodsman, clearing a path through the forest of difficulty.