David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield book cover
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What is the moral lesson of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens? 

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Ashly Hintz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As a very complex narrative, the novel David Copperfield tackles numerous storylines and ideas. Perhaps because of the breadth of issues it tackles, there is one consistent theme throughout—diverse situations and their resolutions.

David himself undergoes a number of different experiences in his life, such as growing up with a single mother, having an abusive stepfather, going to a demanding boarding school, and much more. All of these different experiences, however, come to a resolution as David grows up, overcomes his circumstances, and becomes a relatively well-adjusted adult—mirroring Dickens’s own life (on which the story is based).

In the end, it seems the most consistent theme through this work is the idea that everyone undergoes many different experiences, but also that a bad upbringing and negative events in one’s past don't mean an individual can’t be successful or well-rounded as an adult.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A story's moral is the lesson it teaches about behavior that is right or prudent. Short...

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