Prolific, well-loved, humorous, and wise, Charles Dickens crafted stories that exposed social injustice and the plight of the poor. This month, the resource center book group will discuss his most autobiographical novel, David Copperfield. Plunge into this literary treat of sage observations, laugh-out-loud scenes, and heart-wrenching social criticism — join us on Thursday, March 30th for discussion.
Some questions for discussion:
- Discuss Dickens’ use of character names.
- What point-of-view does Dickens employ? What effect does this have on the way we understand the main character?
- For Dickens, what seems to constitute “family”? Examine some of the family groups he portrays.
- Give some examples of foreshadowing and/or some examples of dramatic irony.
- Please share two passages that you found to be especially interesting, puzzling or wise.
- Dickens is certainly a social critic. Is he prophetic, in your opinion? Why or why not?
- Discuss the plot structure. In what ways is the plot an overarching plot and in what ways is it a collection of separate episodes?
- How does Dickens achieve humor? What is the role of humor in the novel?
- What is the relationship, in the novel, between morality and strength? Are there any correlations, in the book, between social power, physical robustness and moral strength? Explain.
- Describe the different portraits of religious people as presented in the novel. What is the role of religion in morality in this story? What is Dickens’ attitude toward religion, do you think? Explain.