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Subject Was Dora Spenlow a youthful version of David's mother?

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Publication 639 By villandra on Sunday, June 20, 2004 at 13:53   
Location: United States   Registered: Saturday, June 19, 2004  Posts: 4    Search for other posts by villandra Search   Quote
Someone on a Dora thread on this board said that Dora was a peer version of DAvid's mother.

What an interesting idea. Does anyone have any ideas whether or how it might be so?

Dora Smith

Publication 646 By Uriah Heep on Tuesday, July 6, 2004 at 12:01   
Location: United Kingdom   Registered: Tuesday, July 6, 2004  Posts: 1    Search for other posts by Uriah Heep Search   Quote

Dora is most definitely used as a parody of David's mother. She is shown as the naive young woman, inwardly beautiful but outwardly frail. I believe that Dickens deliberately puts in this analogy just to see if wewill be astute enough to pick up on it.

The similarities are obvious. Boteh women lose loved ones and both are left at the mercy of strong and determined males, Murdstone and Copperfield. The key point is when Copperfield realises that he cannot expect to mould Dora unlike Murdstone did with his mother; (Murdstone breaking his mother in the process). After that point he becomes happy to play along with her whimsical nature.......but is it too late.

The question Dickens is asking us is....do we learn from our mistakes? Are we all hypocrites to some or other degree. Just like Uriah and his fawning numbleness!!!

The question is...Did Dora become sick upon David breaking her spirit with his renunciation of her householding skills. Just as Mrs Murdstone renunciated his mother householding skills?

Publication 1204 By Nibs on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 17:05   
Location: United States   Registered: Wednesday, May 6, 2009  Posts: 48    Search for other posts by Nibs Search   Quote
Ooh, good point about the hypocrisy of David, Mr. Heep, and the fact that David himself could have made Dora sick! Bravo.

This is an interesting thing my sister pointed out when we were watching the 1935 film but I don't know if it's valid because I can't remember if it's in the book... but anyway, Betsey tells Murdstone that he destroyed Clara by hurting what she loved best, David.
Well later, at the David/Dora dinner party, David tries to slap Jip, who Dora loves best. In a sense, this scene has David as Murdstone, Dora as Clara, and Jip is...David (lol). In a diluted sense it's being reenacted in David's own life. Just something too think about!

Publication 1216 By lotessora on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 23:11   
Location: United States   Registered: Friday, September 5, 2008  Posts: 5    Search for other posts by lotessora Search   Quote
I mention in another post that while there are several similarities between them, I think Dora has a stronger will and is more comfortable with who she is. After all, she has a pretty frank contempt for Miss Murdstone and basically dismisses her, which is quite the opposite in comparison to Clara's meek subservience.

I disagree that David broke Dora's spirit; he stopped himself before it came to that. He realized both he and she would be happier if he didn't pressure her so much. She's a sweet, supportive little person, but simply not the most practical. Once he reconciled himself to that, they had "a much better year than the first." Of course, Dora was still quite young, so I think it a shame she had to be killed off before her character was really developed. But I guess that was Dickens's point: she would never have changed. I dunno, though, I still love her character.

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