How do Mr. Micawber and David Copperfield meet, and are they just friends in the novel?

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Micawber eventually becomes a friend to David, but I would describe him as more of a mentor when David first meets him.  When David is sent to work in London, he is offered lodging with the Micawber family.  While he truly appreciates and enjoys the Micawbers' company, he still feels abandoned and isolated.

Later, Mr. Micawber plays a pivotal role in helping David defeat the villainous Uriah Heep, but his more significant influence in David's life is his example of optimism.  While the Micawbers have next to nothing in material goods, Mr. Micawber is almost always able to maintain a positive outlook, something that David desperately needs because of all the tragedies in his life.  In the end, readers should see Mr. Micawber as a true friend to David; for he sincerely wants what is best for David and is willing to sacrifice some of his own desires if he can help him.

Micawber is another one of Dickens' eccentric, whimsical stock characters.  If you have read Great Expectations, you will see many similarities between Micawber and Mr. Wemmick and Herbert Pockett.  Dickens' title characters almost always rely on and are influenced by positive, entrepreneurial characters such as Mr. Micawber in order to reach maturity and contentment.