How is the use of "memory" applied in the narrative technique in David Copperfield?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

David Copperfield is Charles Dickens’s most autobiographical work.  It is written as an autobiography, with the narrator looking back and reflecting on his life from when he was born until he was a young man.  The narrator is selective in what he tells, but he discusses everything from the perspective of how it impacted his life.

This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. (chapter 2, enotes etext p. 11)

David comments on memory from time to time during the story.  This quote demonstrates the importance of memory to David, and his desire to tell his story from his child’s perspective and adult’s.  As he describes his older and older self, he comments on his own actions and choices.