Explore BrainMass

Study guide for Charles Dickens's David Copperfield

The solution below presents a variety of questions dealing with Charles Dickens's David Copperfield.

Solution Preview

1. What is the name of David's childhood home? Why is the house given this name?
2. Who is Peggotty? What are her roles in the novel?
3. How does Miss Betsey react when she hears that a boy has been born?
4. What themes recur in this novel? Give examples of how these themes are illustrated.
5. Water--particularly the sea--plays a significant role in this novel. Discuss this role giving examples of circumstances in which it is prominent.
6. How is David's first journey to Yarmouth significant?
7. Discuss the significance of physical appearances throughout this novel. How do features of people and places reflect moods, tones and characters?
8. How does Emily's childish behavior on the beach foreshadow later events? How does her ambition to become a lady contribute to her downfall?
9. Discuss David's feelings when he learns of his mother's marriage.
10. How do the books David finds comfort him in his disgrace?
11. Why does Miss Murdstone come to live at Blunderstone? How is her presence instrumental in the lives of David and his mother?
12. Why does David find it difficult to study when the Murdstones are present?
13. What happens to David after his beating and imprisonment?
14. Who do David and Mr. Mell visit before going to school? Why does Mr. Mell keep this relationship secret?
15. What is the name of David's first school? Is this name appropriate? Explain.
16. Who does David meet first after the holidays are over? How is this meeting instrumental?
17. Describe Steerforth's standing with school officials. How does he take advantage of this position?
18. What does Traddles do to relieve his emotions?
19. How does David gain Steerforth's esteem?
20. Describe the day of Mr. Mell's dismissal. How does Steerforth's role in this scene foreshadow his later actions?
21. Who visits David at Salem House? What impression do David's visitors give and receive?
22. What is significant about the first day of David's holidays at the end of his first term at school?
23. How does Peggotty react to Barkis's message?
24. How does Miss Murdstone react to David's holding the baby and to the resemblance David's mother discovers between her children?
25. What is notable about Mr. Omer and his family? How does this contrast with their trade? How does David react to their attitude?
26. How do the Murdstones treat David after his mother's death?
27. How does Mr. Murdstone provide for David's future?
28. What does Peggotty decide to do after David's mother's death?
29. How does Mr. Barkis conduct his courtship?
30. How does Barkis announce his marriage?
31. What does David's work consist of at Murdstone and Grinby's? How does he feel about this occupation? What are his feelings towards his fellow-workers?
32. How does David help the Micawbers obtain money?
33. What advice does Mr. Micawber give David while in debtor's prison?
34. How is Mr. Micawber's release from prison accomplished?
35. What does David decide to do when the Micawbers leave London?
36. Since his money is stolen, how does David survive his journey from London to Dover?
37. What vision inspires David on his journey to Dover?
38. Describe the first meeting between Miss Betsey and David. What feelings does she betray?
39. What is the purpose of Mr. Dick's memorial?
40. Consider Mr. Dick's character? Is he insane? Explain your answer.
41. What purpose does the kite serve?
42. What are Miss Betsey's reasons for Mr. Dick's oddities?
43. What name does David's aunt give him on assuming ...

Solution Summary

In this solution, I provide a variety of discussions questions dealing with Charles Dickens's novel, David Copperfield. Some of these questions require simple answers while others require close reading and deeper responses.