David Copperfield Questions and Answers
Q 1. Describe the situation when David was born.
Ans. David Copperfield was born on a Friday night at Blunderstone, a village in the county of Suffolk. He was a posthumous child and was born about six months after the death of his father. His great aunt, Miss Betsy was present in the house when David’s mother would give birth to a Female child to whom his great aunt could become god mother. But, when she heard that a male child was born, she left the house in a huff. The nurse attending upon his mother told that David would be unlucky in life. He was born with a caul which was later advertised in a newspaper for selling.
Q 2. How was David treated by his step-father and step aunt?
Ans. In the beginning, David received lessons from his step-father Mr. Murdstone at home but he was a most exacting task master who showed no kindness to David. His sister was even more harsh than her brother. Mr. Murdstone started caning David on the ground that David had not prepared his lessons well. While being beaten, David bit Mr. Murdstone’s hand. But to teach him a lesson, David was sent to school near London where the teacher was too merciless for any student. Neither David nor his mother or Peggotty had anything to do in this matter. The presence of these two made David forget whatever he had learnt. During this time, his only consolation was reading a few books like “Tom Jones‘, ‘Don Quixote’ etc. which his father had left in a little room.
Q 3. How did Mr. Creakle treat with the students?
Ans. David was sent to Salem House Academy which was under the authority of Mr. Creakle by Mr. Murdstone and his sister just to subject David to the beating of Mr. Creakle. Creakle was a very stern headmaster who used to bit his pupils mercilessly with his cane. He warned all the students against any laxity in learning their lessons. He told them that he would not hesitate to punish anyone who is negligent in any way. He told David that if David was famous for biting people, he is famous for punishing the boys. He showed the cane and caned many of the boys, especially the smaller ones. Then, almost half the total number of boys were writhing and crying even before the lessons began.
Q 4. What did David do in the Murdstone and Grinby warehouse?
Ans. At the age of only ten when David became an orphan, he was forced by his step father to take up a job in ‘Murdstone and Grinby. This firm supplied wines and spirits to certain packet ships. With two or three other boys, David washed empty bottles and put labels on them. He was asked by Mick Walker what to do and what not to do. This was against the hope of David. He felt agony with such companions. David thought that all his aim to become a learned man was completely shattered.
Q 5. What was the condition of Micawber family?
Ans. During his stay in the lodging arranged by Mr. Quinion, David got acquainted with the Micawber family. Mr. Micawber was an improvident man who was forced to borrow money from all sorts of people to earn his livelihood. So everytime, he was harassed by his creditors who demanded the repayment of the money they gave him. But time to time he was fathering children one after another. The presence of the creditors made him discoloured and their absence cheered him up immediately. But he was very much optimistic who always waited for something to turn up in his life. Yet, Mr. Micawber tried to continue a carefree life. His wife pawned many household articles in shops and David also sometimes helped her.
Q 6. How did David arrive at Miss Betsey’s house?
Ans. Getting fed up with his present life in the Murdstone and Grinby factory, David decided to go to his great aunt’s house even though he did not know the exact address of that lady. Accordingly, one day he packed up his belongings and started his journey. Before he had got into the stage coach which was to take him to Dover, he was robbed of his possession by the driver of a donkey cart which took him to the coach office. As he had no money with him even to buy food on the way, he sold his jacket and set out for Dover on foot. He was fully exhausted when he arrived at his destination after getting Miss Betsey’s address by making inquiries from all kinds of people in Dover. At last, he reached her house and was cordially received by his great aunt, Miss Betsey.
Q 7. How was Martha helped by Emily?
Ans. One day when David was in the house of Peggotty and Barkis, Emily was approached by a girl called Martha Endell. Martha entreated Emily to give her some money for old times sake because she was badly in need of some cash so as to be able to go to London to start a new life. Martha was known to Emily because like Emily, she too had been working at the shop of Mr. Omer who was an undertaker and a funeral furnisher in Yarmouth. Then Emily gave Martha some money from Ham’s purse.
Q 8. What type of lady is Miss Betsy Trotwood?
Ans. Miss Betsy Trotwood is like a goddess in the corpus of Dickens’ novel ‘David Copperfield’. She saved David when the latter was severely neglected by all, being an orphan. She got David admitted to a school in Canterbury and arranged for his lodging so that David can start a new life. Then she wanted David to become an attorney. That David ultimately became successful in his life was due to only this lady. She always came in help with all who somehow suffered a lot. She is undoubtedly selfless and blessed David heartily. As a result of this, David can’t forget his great aunt’s importance in his life.
Q 9. What is Agnes’ role in David’s life?
Ans. When David was admitted in a school at Canterbury, a warm affectionate bond was created in between David and Agnes. Truly speaking, Agnes was David’s eternal friend. Whenever David fell in some trouble, it was Agnes who advised David what to do or not. David got married to Dora. Yet Agnes was not jealous. Even she helped David in his affairs with Dora. She was an angel like figure in David’s life. When Dora died prematurely, she came to become the wife of David and gave him happiness in his days of extreme bereavement. Even she gave birth to a few children by him to see laughter in David’s face.
Q 10. Why did Emily elope with Steerforth?
Ans. Both Emily and Ham were brought up by Mr. Peggotty. It was expected by all that Emily should marry Ham. Even she gave her consent to Ham’s proposal of marriage, at which members of the boat house were celebrating this event. Steerforth who was town bread young man occasionally came to Mr. Peggotty’s house. Emily was infatuated by the artificiality of Steerforth and forgot the faithfulness of Ham. That’s why, she eloped with steerforth without thinking her future. The result was also very bad. Ultimately, she was rejected by Steerforth in a crucial moment while they were travelling in Europe.
Q 11. What type of man is Uriah Heep?
Ans. Uriah Heep is the embodiment of a standard villain. He got Mr. Wickfield addicted to drinking. As a result of this, Agnes father, Mr. Wickfield become very nervous and especially about the business matters. Taking the advantage, Heep proceeded even to grasp half the property of Mr. Wickfield Even, he thought of making Agnes his wife. But, skillfully Heep kept a good relation with David and told him that there is nothing wrong in him. But when David heard the reality from Agnes, he negated her not to sign the agreement But the situation was so well planned by Uriah Heep taking the advantage of Wickfield’s wickness that there was no way but to make Uriah Heep a partner in Wickfield’s business.
Q 12. How did David fall in love with Dora?
Ans. One day Mr. Spenlow took David to his house and David was introduced to his daughter Dora. Truly speaking, David fell in love with that girl at first sight. Then, after his return to London, he kept thinking a great deal about Dora. Then she responded to his love and they got secretly engaged because Dora knew that her father might reject it. Then David frequently visited Dora but secretly. Here Julia Mills, Dora’s friend helped David too much. But suddenly Spenlow died. So, this engagement was about to break. Then, Agnes advised David to write to Dora’s two unmarried guardian aunts. When they gave their consent, David’s love for Dora was changed into marriage tie.
Q 13. Why was David illtreated by Steerforth’s mother?
Ans. Arriving at London for some legal purpose, David met Steerforth’s mother at High gate. When Steerforth was accused of making elopement with Emily, Mrs. Steerforth replied that her son neither think of marrying Emily nor want to disgrace himself as the girl is poor, uneducated and ignorant. Rather she blamed Emily for this elopement. Miss Rosa Dartle was most indignant to hear such complain from David. Even they accused David as he took Mr. Peggoty to their house. Naturally, David had no alternative but to tolerate the rebuff given by Mrs. Steerforth. As a mother, she never wanted to realize Steerforth’s mistakes but always charged Emily, Mr. Peggotty and David.
Q 14. What did Uriah Heep charge against Mrs. Strong?
Ans. When David visited Mr. Strong’s house, Uriah Heep who was present there brought some charges against Mrs. Strong to her husband. He told that Jack Maldon and Mrs. Strong were too intimate with each other. He also told that Maldon returned from India not because it was necessary for him but because he wanted to resume his intimacy with Mrs. Strong. He also charged that Mrs. Strong and Agnes were getting closed to each other. But David was almost a silent observer and could say nothing. Dr. Strong also confessed that probably Annie married him against her will and in that case such type of suspicion may rise with their friend.
Q 15. What did Mrs. Micwaber write to David about the change in her husband?
Ans. One day David got a letter from Mrs. Micawber who in that letter wrote that though her husband never kept any secret from her, yet she could not make out why her husband was recently morose and severe. She further said that her husband was estranged from their eldest son and daughter. He felt no pride in the twins and even he was cold towards the infant, the latest addition to the family. She was not able to obtain any money from her husband for household expenses. She also asked David’s advice in this matter. Though they were always in financial trouble, Mrs. Micawber appreciated her husband’s merits. So, she was deeply loved by him. But the sudden change shocked her limitlessly.
Q 16. How did David get success as a reporter and as an author?
Ans. After walking a long, troublesome journey, David attained the age of 21 and became a man in the legal sense. Then he was able to tame the savage stenographic mystery. Learning this he was able to earn respectable income. He got a good reputation for successfully reporting the debates in Parliament to a morning newspaper. In addition to this, he was gradually known as an author also. His writings were being published in a magazine and he was paid for that. In this way, David became quite prosperous and made separate arrangement for his great aunt.
Q 17. How did Dr. Strong and Annie reconcile with each other?
Ans. One day, Annie gave a long account of her life from the day of her marriage till the present time. She said that before marrying Dr. Strong, she treated him like her father as Strong was her father’s friend and there was a big difference of age between Strong and Herself. When Strong wanted to marry her, she was astonished but she honoured the doctor’s proposal. After their marriage she worshipped none but her husband. Of course before that marriage she was thinking of marrying Jack Maldon as she loved him. But after she got married to Mr. Strong, she drove out all thoughts of Jack Maldon from her mind. Thus the suspicion of everybody was proved to be completely wrong and Dr. Strong and Annie getting reconciled to each other planned to spent their days in extreme happiness.
Q 18. Why did Martha tried to kill herself?
Ans. It was late in the evening when Mr. Peggotty and David were searching for Emily. Then they saw a figure at a distance indistinctly near West minister Abbey. The figure was walking very fast and David became sure that it was none but Martha. Crossing a few streets, she came to a halt on the bank of a river and standing there, she was looking at the water below. Thinking that she might jump into the river, David went quickly and caught hold of her when she was about to jump. She struggled greatly to be free and told that she should be allowed to do it. When she was asked why she wanted to kill herself, she answered that she came in no work to find out the whereabouts of Emily. But it was really sorrowful to her that she got her new life for this Emily but she in unable to spot out Emily’s present staying As it is a matter of disgrace to her, Martha tried to kill herself.
Q 21. Why was Miss Betsey separated from her husband?
Ans. One day David saw that a drunken man approached to his great aunt at midnight and then after some orderless behaviour, he left the place. When David asked about that man’s identity, Miss Betsey told that it was her husband whom David thought to be dead long long ago. Then she gave a long description of her husband’s extravagant and irresponsible habits for which she separated herself from him. She had given him ample money as the price of separation but he had spent all the money in no time and got married to a new woman. Then, he became a gambler and cheat. Then he went on blackmailing her and squeezed money out of her. As long as she was able to give money she did so, but now she is completely ruined. So, it is impossible for her to give money to that man any more. She wants to tell that she had no escape from such a diabolic husband who simply went on giving psychological pressure upon her mind.
Q 20. How did David treat Dora in her illness?
Ans. After the second year of their marriage, Dora’s health began to deteriorate. She gave birth to a child who died immediately, leaving Dora seriously weakened. The doctor told David that Dora would recover her normal health very soon which never translated into reality. David carried her downstairs every morning and upstairs every night. But she was cheerful. She was now completely invalid. David’s aunt nursed her heartily during this critical situation in David’s life. Mr. Dick and Traddles also became the cordial members of David’s family. But the blossom seemed to be withering in its bloom upon the tree.
Q 21. How did Miss Dartle threaten Emily?
Ans. Miss Dartle spoke to Emily very harsh words in a stern manner. She warned Emily against making any fresh effort to meet Steerforth or to try to trap him once more. Emily being helpless assured her that she had no such intention. Emily also requested her to understand her miserable condition. Emily was in tears but Miss Dartle said that she would not be moved by the tears of a girl who tried to entrap Steerforth. Miss Dartle asserted that if Emily stayed in London one day more, she would expose her story to all the people there. Even Miss Dartle asked Emily to marry Steerforth’s servant, Littimer who would suit her as a husband. David was hearing all these but could not do anything for the time being.
Q 22. What was Ham’s view of Emily?
Ans. After Emily was discovered, one day when David was talking to Ham, the latter asked David to convey Ham’s feeling in whole affair to Emily. He said that it was not a question of his forgiving her for the manner in which she had behaved but that it was more a question of her forgiving him for having thrust the affections upon her when she did not love him even though she had been willing to marry him. So, Ham wanted to be forgiven by Emily for pressing her to marry him. He further said that if she had told him of the struggle that had been going on in her mind about him, he would have probably been able to save her from the fate which she had met. He also said that as for himself, he had truly loved her and that he even loved the memory of her.
Q 23. Why did Mr. Micawber open his mouth against Uriah Heep?
Ans. To bring a change in his financial crisis, Mr. Micawber took the duty of Uriah Heep’s confidential clerk. But no change came to him. Primarily he had to cut off his relationship with his family. For a long time, he had to neglect his loving family. Secondly, he had to perform some activities which were purely unscrupulous. As a result of that, he was pricked by his conscience endlessly. So, one day, he opened his mouth against Uriah Heep. Micawber told that if there was a scoundrel on this earth, it was Uriah Heep. Heep challenged this and told that Micawber conspired against him, Then he produced a long charge-sheet against Heep. Micawber told that Heep was a forger and great cheat. He also declared that Mr. Wickfield was the principal victim of Uriah Heep’s manipulation. Micawber confessed his own guilt but told that he was compelled to do it due to his poverty. He expressed his wish to go prison more than to take part in Heep’s devilish plots and schemes. So, to get back his lost humanity and to renew his life purely, Micawber had expose the villainy of Uriah Heep.
Q 24. How did Steerforth and Ham die?
Ans. While visiting Yarmouth, David saw Ham standing on the beach. Ham was one of the large crowd. People gathered there to see a ship that got wrecked at a small distance. Except one solitary man, the ship was totally drowned. The man was on the mast. Ham tried to save him. He jumped into the sea with one end of a rope tied round his waist and other end held by the crowd. The distance was not long but the waves being too powerful, the man perished in the sea. The crowd were trying to pull Ham back to the shore but Ham too was dead by the time he had been dragged to the shore. Sometime later, the dead body of the previous man was washed ashore by the waves. It was seen to be the body of Steerforth, David’s friend.
Q 25. How was David influenced by nature?
Ans. After the death of Dora, while he was wandering aimlessly here and there in a depressed mood, David came upon a valley, David was deeply influenced by the natural scenery. It was a valley in Switzerland and the mountains were very impressive. David felt that nature was speaking to him. Nature seemed to be asking him to give an outlet to his grief by weeping. He wept and wept as he never did before over Dora’s death. Agnes, was writing letters to him, praying God to comfort him in his grief. During his stay in Switzerland, even he wrote the plot of a novel which Traddles published on his behalf. Then, when his 3rd novel was half written, he went back to England.
Q 26. What did Traddles and David see in the prison?
Ans. In response to an invitation from their old schoolmaster, Mr. Creakle, Traddles and David visited him, who was then a magistrate in Middlesex and he wanted them to inspect the prison under his charge. He wanted them to study the prison discipline under his supervision. These two were cordially welcomed by Creakle who almost forgot the harsh manner in which he treated the two, especially Traddles. David and Traddles were introduced to a number of prisoners who were rather changed in their attitude to life. Even Creakle asked them to test some of them as a note of discipline which he maintained in the prison. But, what is most surprising is that Uriah Heep and Littimer were there for their criminal deeds. But, forgetting the past, they asked how David and Traddles were getting on. Though these two prisoners were essentially changed, they continued to be as evil in nature as they were originally.
Q 27. What news did Mr. Peggotty bring for David?
Ans. After 10 years of his marriage to Agnes when David had already advanced in fame and fortune with perfect happiness, one day Mr. Peggotty who was now grown old paid a visit to David from Australia. He informed that all the emigrants were well in their new homes in Australia. Everybody worked hard and attained considerable prosperity there. He told that he got the information about Ham’s death from a traveler in Australia. Though many men proposed her, Emily rejected them and remained unmarried. Martha got married to a firm labourer. One man wanted to marry Mrs. Gummidge who hit the suitor with a bucket. Mr. Micawber was now an eminent magistrate in a town called Port Middlebay Harbour. In a letter, he congratulated David on his success as an author. He also wrote that the people of Australia were reading his book and admired greatly. Besides, Mr. Micawber was a correspondent of a newspaper, called “Port Middlebay Times.”
Q 28. How did David got married to Agnes?
Ans. When Christmas approached, David frequently visited Agnes at least once a week, spent the evenings with her and came back to Dover at night. One day Miss Betsey told him that Agnes was going to get married to somebody. Then, going to her house, he asked her if she had a secret which she could tell him. Agnes instead of answering the question burst into a flood of tears. Agnes tried to get away from him but David detained her and asked if anything was wrong. She did not answer at all if David pressed her too much. Then she told that she had an old secret to reveal. Feeling interested ‘David put his hands around her waist and asked if he could see her more than a sister. Agnes started to shed tears but David told her that he loved her always and he would have married her in the first chance instead of marrying Dora. Agnes told that she had loved David from the very start. Then, they two got married in presence of Traddles, Sophy, Doctor and Annie quietly.