David's mother marries very young, has David when she is young, and is widowed when she hardly more than a girl. She is childlike, gentle, and full of kindness—in other words, ill fitted for the world. Before David was born, his orphaned mother became a governess, then married David's father, also named David Copperfield. At the point her husband dies, she knows little of housekeeping. As Miss Betsey says to her:
"You are a very Baby!"
The servant Peggotty is a kind-hearted and loving soul, honest and good, who more or less runs the household when David is very young. Most evenings she sits in the parlor with David and his mother, showing how kind and open-hearted David's mother is in treating a servant as an equal. David loves Peggotty dearly, and she is good to him. He is happy in his simple life with these two women.
It is lucky for David that he is able to spend his earliest youth with such dear creatures as his mother and Peggotty, because it humanizes him. He learns from them what real love and compassion are. Once the Murdstones appear, on the other hand, he is subjected to ruthlessness and cruelty.