The World beyond the Dickens World

  • Susan R. Horton


Most of the action in David Copperfield takes place in carefully circumscribed locales: around the hearthside at Blunderstone, at the Peggottys’ cosy houseboat, at Betsey Trotwood’s cottage, or at the Wickfields’ home. But for brief spaces of time, while David makes his way to Betsey Trotwood’s after running away from his job at Murdstone and Grinby’s, the reader encounters quite another and a different world. David tries to pawn his jacket to get money to buy some bread, and in doing so he finds himself having to contend with a strange old man ‘with … trembling hands, which were like the claw of a great bird’, who shrieks at him, grabs him by the hair, and repeats, ‘Oh, my eyes and limbs, what do you want? Oh, goroo, goroo!’ [DC.xiii.184]. David extricates himself from this strange man after much time and difficulty, runs down the highway, only to encounter a young tinker who interrupts his beating of his wife just long enough to steal David’s scarf from around his neck, and then resume knocking her about again [DC.xiii.187–8].


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The World Beyond the Dickens World

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Copyright information

© Susan R. Horton 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan R. Horton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MassachusettsUSA

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