Relationships in David Copperfield Essay

Relationships in David Copperfield Essay

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In David Copperfield, Dickens has many relationships, which you can compare to one another throughout the story. Dickens loves using foils to create creative and interestingly detailed relationships, which can parallel and mirror the views of the Neoclassical and Romantic periods. In this essay I will compare and contrast two relationships. The two relationships that I have chosen are David’s relationship with Agnes Wickfield and then with James Steerforth. Agnes’s relationship with David is a profitable and healthy one whereas Steerforth’s with David reminds me of a doctor letting a sick person bleed out, it’s unhealthy and does no good. Both of these relationships have interesting similarities and foils to one another.
David’s relationship with Steerforth is an interesting one because it shows the effects of being around the wrongs kinds of people does to you. Steerforth appears as an upstanding youth head boy at Salem House and we are happy to see him befriend David after David’s life had fallen apart. But later on we see Steerforth’s true colors come out, when he runs off with Little Emily and then after awhile leaves her. In Chapter 24, David goes out to dinner with Steerforth and his friends and we see what effect the influence of Steerforth has on David. David becomes drunk, smokes and becomes a fool that night. David’s relationship with Steerforth is foolish, dependent, and Steerforth just uses David to get what he wants (Emily, etc.). I think that parental upbringing has a large part in how Steerforth acts, because Mrs. Steerforth gives her son so much attention and spoils him so much, that it’s harmful for him and ultimately leads to his downfall. In Mrs. Steerforth’s eyes, James can do no evil and so...


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... kill the developing “rose”. David’s friendship and future marriage with her is the best thing that could ever happen to him. When David is freed from the attachment to Steerforth it’s like a huge weight is lifted off the reader’s back, you have hope that David will be able to become his own person without the influence of someone like Steerforth. Today the same principle goes for youth. I know that a couple years ago if I hung around with people who were foolish and immoral, I tended to lean in the direction of becoming like them and never blossoming into my own person, my own rose. I worked very hard on that problem so that in college I can stand up for my beliefs and morals while being surrounded by immorality and having my faith tested, now I’ve gotten 99% better and I continue to grow in that area with the help of God, my teachers, and my parents.

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