Montreal Dickens Fellowship Study Questions: “David Copperfield”
Westmount Public Library
November 5, 2019 1:00-3:00
Chapters 5 - 14
- Discuss the importance of class differences in reference to David’s admiration of Steerforth, Traddles, and Mr. Peggoty
- Is Clara Copperfield a sympathetic character?
- How did David use his books and imagination as a defense? Was it effective? Comment on the similarities with Dickens’ life.
- The prevalence of death is high in Dickens’ works and in David Copperfield. Discuss.
- Who are the mother figures in these chapters? What role does their presence or absence play?
- Explore David’s love for Steerforth. Do you agree with it?
- What makes Dickens’ character descriptions so compelling? Use examples.
- Do you think David, himself is likeable? What do you like or dislike about him?
- Did David’s experience in school prepare him in any way for his life afterwards?
- “The Friendly Waiter” scene is one of the most humorous in Dickens. Read the passage and discuss in terms of humor, language, description, character, etc.
- How does Dickens use physical appearance to describe the inner character? Give examples.
- Discuss the parallels between Mr.Micawber and Dickens’ father.
- Chapter 11 is known to contain Dickens’ autobiographical fragment. Discuss David’s experience in the factory. How did Dickens factory work affect his personality and later writing?
- Mrs. Micawber is as funny as her husband. Give examples.
- Debtor’s prisons feature prominently in Dickens’ works. Compare Mr. Micawber’s experience with Dickens’ own family imprisonment.
- On his journey to Dover, David shows extreme resourcefulness. Discuss how Dickens uses humor and pathos during this segment.
- Describe the eccentricities of Betsy Trotwood. What makes her so likeable?
- What does the character of Mr. Dick symbolize?