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Character Analysis in David Copperfield

Character Analysis Examples in David Copperfield:

Chapter 1 - I Am Born

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"Those allied powers..."   (Chapter 1 - I Am Born)

"Those allied powers" refers to those people working together to ensure Mrs. Copperfield's best interests and well-being.

"'Some local irritation, ma'am?' ..."   (Chapter 1 - I Am Born)

Mr. Chillip assumes she has placed cotton in her ears because of a medical condition; he doesn't know she has stopped her ears with cotton so that she won't hear the cries of Mrs. Copperfield while she is in labor.

"portentous..."   (Chapter 1 - I Am Born)

The adjective "portentous" refers to one's giving a sign or warning of imminent unpleasantness. It can also refer to someone having a very grave, solemn, and serious demeanor. In this context, the suggestion is that Miss Betsey appears pompous and superior and evidently important.

"('Much he knew about it himself!') said Miss Betsey in a parenthesis..."   (Chapter 1 - I Am Born)

The passage can be interpreted two ways. It indicates what Miss Betsey is thinking, or it is the author's intruding into the story to humorously suggest what Miss Betsey is probably thinking.

"There was a twitch of Miss Betsey's head, after each of these sentences, as if her own old wrongs were working within her, and she repressed any plainer reference to them by strong constraint..."   (Chapter 1 - I Am Born)

The implication is that Miss Betsey is remembering how she had been hurt in the past and is struggling to control her emotions. She intends to protect the unborn child—she is certain the baby is a girl—from the wrongs that had been done to her by a man's "trifling with her affections" and betraying her.

"'Why then I'll as good as bet a guinea,' said Peggotty..."   (Chapter 2 - I Observe)

Peggotty expects that Davy's mother will will surely let him go and she is so sure that she could even place a bet and win. A guinea was money (a coin) in circulation at the time. 

"supposititious..."   (Chapter 2 - I Observe)

The adjective "supposititious" means that something is based on wondering or supposing. Seeing that Peggotty is not happy to be taking Davy away and leaving his mother with Murdstone makes Davy wonder if he is being taken away for good and, if that is the case, if he would be able to find his way back home.

"Brooks of Sheffield..."   (Chapter 2 - I Observe)

Brooks of Sheffield is an acquaintance of Mrs. Copperfield's who is perhaps another of her suitors.

"Quinion,' said Mr. Murdstone, 'take care, if you please. Somebody's sharp..."   (Chapter 2 - I Observe)

The expression "somebody's sharp" serves as a warning that Davy might understand what the men are talking about. The suggestion is that Mr. Murdstone has designs on Mrs. Copperfield and perhaps her inheritance.

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