David Copperfield & Oliver Twist


David Copperfield. Six months before David Copperfield’s birth, his father died. His aunt, Betsey Trotwood, arrives in Blunderstone on the night he is born. She leaves because she expected a girl. When David is a little boy, Peggotty, his nurse, takes him on holiday to her brother.When they return home, his mother has re - married. David is sent to Salem House by his stepfather Murdstone. After his mother’s death he is forced to work in a warehouse.
David runs away to his Aunt Betsey in Dover. She sends him to her lawyer, Mr. Wickfield, and his lovely daughter, Agnes. He attends old Doctor Strong’s school and grows up happily. After some time he works for Spenlow and Jorkins, where he meets Dora Spenlow and falls in love with her. He teaches himself shorthand and becomes a parliamentary reporter after some time. Mr. Spenlow finds out that Dora and David are engaged and wants to forbid it. But he dies the same night and so they get married. After some time Dora loses a child and dies. David wanders abroad and then returns home. He realises that he has always loved Agnes Wickfield. There is a misunderstanding but finally they confess their mutual love and marry.

Oliver Twist. Oliver was born in a workhouse. He is a waif, his mother died in childbirth. Mr. Bumble, he is a parish official, sends him to an undertaker. Oliver runs away and a gang of young criminals take him to a man called Fagin. He teaches street - kids housebreaking, thievery and prostitution. Of course Fagin sends him to "work", but he is caught because he his naive. Oliver is acquitted. He gets very weak and is taken home by Mr. Brownlow, the man who has been robbed.
When he is sent to deliver a message alone, he is kidnapped by Nancy, that is one of Fagin’s prostitutes, and by the housebreaker Sikes. After some time Oliver is forced to break into a house. It goes wrong and Oliver is shot. Next morning he drags himself to the house and Mrs. Maylie, the owner of the house, and her adopted niece Rose take him in. Although he tells them everything about himself, they keep him. One day he meets a strange man called Monks.
Mr. Bumble’s wife nursed Oliver’s mother before she died and stole her locket and her golden ring after her death. She gets paid by Monks to tell him everything about Oliver’s identity. She gives him the locket and the gold ring and Monks throws them into the river.
Nancy realises Oliver’s danger and tells Rose everything she knows.
At the end everything is cleared up by Monks: Oliver is Rose’s nephew, he is the son of her older sister, who was in love with Mr. Brownlow’s best friend. Monks is Oliver’s stepbrother, because Mr. Brownlow’s friend was married to Monks’s mother. Monks wanted to erase Oliver’s identity to inherit all the money his father left for them.


Many novels of Dickens deal with social problems at his time. His London is very different from what it is nowadays. Society was much more strictly divided into rich and poor.
Dickens describes the lives of two boys who belong to the lower class. Both lose their parents when they are children. Both are forced to work, but they run away because they cannot endure the situation. Both are searching for the one, elemental thing: love. Like every other child they only wish to be loved by someone.
Another problem, even during Queen Victoria’s reign, was prostitution. The theme is represented in the story by Nancy and Martha Endell in both books.


The novel "David Copperfield" is written in the 1stperson singular, David is the narrator. "Oliver Twist" is written in the 3rdperson singular.
"David Copperfield" contains many parallels of Dickens’ life. Charles Dickens also was forced to work in a factory as a child. He attended a very strict school like David Copperfield. Both loved the same books when they were young. Like Dickens, David worked in a lawyers’ office for some time, taught himself shorthand and became a parliamentary reporter and a popular novelist. Many years after their affair, Charles Dickens wrote a letter to Maria Beadnell, in which he confessed that he had used his memories to create Dora’s character. In "Oliver Twist" there are no parallels to Dickens’ life.
While "Oliver Twist" only tells a short part of Oliver’s life, "David Copperfield" nearly relates his whole life.
David Copperfield’s life is easier than Oliver’s, because he at least has a mother for a few years. After her death he runs away to he aunt who cares for him. Oliver is alone from the beginning. It takes a long time until he finds someone who cares for him.

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