How David Copperfield Helped To Shape My Life and Character
A writer’s review of a life-shaping character
When I was 12 years old, I read my first Dickens novel- David Copperfield. It took me 23 days to go through it the first time and I found myself reading, the six hundred and twenty-four pages long book, three more times in five months. The characters in the story were immensely engaging and I felt myself more drawn to their heartbreaking fates, in every new read.
Some people believe Charles Dickens (1812–1870) based David’s character on himself and subsequently, many people have felt the rawness of the book. I was one of these people and I felt everything that David felt emotionally, as a child. As I grew up, I witnessed similar characters and events in my own life, as I had read in the book. I met and knew people like: Uriah Heep, Steerforth and Mr. Murdstone. During my second relationship, as an adult, I was surprised to see how similar my partner’s mannerisms and temperament were to Dora Spenlow!
“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” (David Copperfield, 1850)
This is the first line of the book and it perfectly illustrates the journey of uncertainty. I found it particularly empowering to experience how David dealt with heartbreaks and failures. David taught me how to grieve when a loved one leaves; how to fight for what my story is and how to settle only for what my dreams are.
The biggest similarity that I have found in David’s life and my own is the passion to be an independent artist. David Copperfield taught me that if you have a dream, you must chase after it for as long as it is not yours. Sometimes, I feel that the similarities — the bunch of them that are there — might be a coincidence. However, I believe David Copperfield would say that such beautiful coincidences should be a part of every story- whether real or fiction.