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Subject Personal Observations Of David Copperfield by Dickens Part 5

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Publication 1338 By DATo_Diomedies_DATon on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 04:54   
Location: Unavailable   Registered: Saturday, November 12, 2011  Posts: 10    Search for other posts by DATo_Diomedies_DATon Search   Quote
Part 5: Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a device an author employs to drop a hint of something that will transpire later in the story. There are many examples of foreshadowing in this novel. Obviously it is impossible to recognize when an author is foreshadowing an event until later in the novel when the earlier suggestion dovetails with what we come to learn. Here are two examples.

The time of David’s birth - We are told that David was born on the stroke of midnight on a Friday. The superstition of those times held that a person born in the very early morning hours of a Friday was destined to have bad luck and also to be able to see ghosts. We later come to know the “bad luck” David experiences, and as for seeing ghosts ... in his narrative David reflects upon all of the people he has known. At various times David himself states in his narrative that as he writes his story these people appear as ghostly images taken from his memory. Thus, the characters of his story are the ghosts foretold in the prophecy of the superstition.

The Rookery - We are told that the house that David, his mother and Peggotty live in was named “The Rookery” by David’s father when he purchased the property. (It was not uncommon for people to give a name to their estates back in those days.) The Rookery was so named because there were many rooks nests present though the family soon learned that they were abandoned. The operative word is abandoned. Later in the novel the Murdstones sell the property and David reflects upon it sadly as being empty of its furniture and he imagines the shadows of the trees falling upon the bare walls of the rooms. The description of the abandoned rooks nests foreshadow the abandonment of the house itself.

Publication 1339 By absent-minded on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 05:05   
Location: Greece   Registered: Friday, June 29, 2001  Posts: -166    Search for other posts by absent-minded Search   Quote
If I may ask, how old are you?

Publication 1340 By DATo_Diomedies_DATon on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 05:12   
Location: Unavailable   Registered: Saturday, November 12, 2011  Posts: 10    Search for other posts by DATo_Diomedies_DATon Search   Quote
You may ask ... I am 60 years old.

Publication 1341 By absent-minded on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 05:42   
Location: Greece   Registered: Friday, June 29, 2001  Posts: -166    Search for other posts by absent-minded Search   Quote
I'm 48, but many of the visitors are students -- and I was surprised at the thought that these posts on David Copperfield probably came from a student. Normally a 60 year old in reality is younger than his chronologically young self -- and it is blissful to be full of youth and full of thinking simultaneously, although in a body that seems now more like a prison...

Publication 1342 By DATo_Diomedies_DATon on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 06:03   
Location: Unavailable   Registered: Saturday, November 12, 2011  Posts: 10    Search for other posts by DATo_Diomedies_DATon Search   Quote
No, I am long past my student days *LOL*, but I recall those days and find myself reflecting upon them in these posts. I was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher of English literature when I was a boy. Her name was Mrs. Irene Mayer. It is one of the great tragedies of my life that I did not have the common sense at that age to thank her for all that she taught me.

If my modest contributions to this board inspire any student to take a greater interest in the critical analysis of their reading they owe nothing to me but to that wonderful aforementioned woman whose classes literally and 'literally' changed my life.

To any student that may read this - thank your teachers ... you owe them more than you know.

Publication 1348 By greygeek on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 19:59   
Location: United Kingdom   Registered: Tuesday, January 24, 2012  Posts: 1    Search for other posts by greygeek Search   Quote
Well Mr DATo_Diomedies_DATon: I'd just like to say what a pleasure it is to read such thoughtful contributions. Thank you for recording them.

I'm an even older codger than you, 64, and I recently reread David Copperfield, having last read it in my teens, when I think lots of things passed me by but I still enjoyed the story.

This time I was surprised by the emotional impact of the book; I was almost unprepared for the directness of the language in the best parts, and the sophistication of the feelings expressed. Example - David's reactions to his multiple losses (including deaths of Ham / Steerforth / Dora), his confronting his grief in Switzerland and reaction to Agnes's letter are wonderfully described and seem bang up to date rather than something written 160-odd years ago.

You're right, there's an awful lot in this book that most of us will miss in detail, though it still colours the experience. I finished reading a week ago (took me a month what with one thing and another) but the book still haunts me and I find myself thinking about the themes - hence coming across your comments. It's by no means perfect - I still think it sags a bit in the middle, and Dora and Jip are pretty irritating - but the whole is far mightier than the faults. It's easy to see why so many consider it one of the great works of any literature.

Keep on commenting!
GG

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