What are two main instances in the life of David Copperfield?

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A significant event came in David’s childhood, when Mr. Murdstone sent him to London, to “live life on his own.” The humiliation of having to work in a blacking factory, usually reserved for those of lower socioeconomic station, stayed with David for quite some time. This is a reference to Dickens’s own time working in such a factory, when his father was sent to debtor’s prison. The humiliation and the bitterness he felt for the rest of his life is evident in the description in David Copperfield. It changed David, making him more understanding of those who did not have the advantages that he himself had. He managed to turn that humiliation into compassion.

Another event was the death of Dora. She was the wife of his childhood, a foolish infatuation which they both realized at the end of her life. As with the blacking factory, David’s marriage to Dora was a realization that he needed to grow up, to accept life with more maturity. Her death opened him up to viewing Agnes as the more appropriate bride for him, with whom he found complete happiness and fulfillment.