In Charles Dickens's novel David Copperfield, why was David happy staying in the home of Peggotty's brother though he was not a rich man?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Early in Charles Dickens's novel David Copperfield, the mother of the title character David begins being courted by a man named Edward Murdstone, whom neither he nor his nanny Peggotty like. In an effort to get David away from the awful man as his mother prepares for their wedding, Peggotty invites David to stay with her family in the seaside town of Yarmouth for a fortnight, meaning two weeks, and David describes the visit as one of his happiest moments.

One reason why David was so happy staying there was due to the unconventionality of the Peggotty family home: a black barge, beached and converted into a home. A barge is a ship used for carrying freight. As David describes when he first saw it, "If it had been Aladdin's palace, roc's egg and all, I suppose I could not have been more charmed with the romantic idea of living in it" (Ch. 3).

A second reason why he was so happy staying with the Peggottys was due to the warmth and kindness of the family. He spent evenings conversing with the family members and days walking on the beach with little Em'ly, whom he fell in love with. They both confessed their adoration for each other but spoke of no plans for the future since they were still very young children.

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