Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Books, pens and pencils: the trials of a Victorian youth

Chantal Cornut-Gentille D'Arcy

Abstract

In this survey, we have focussed our attention on the first part of the novel David Copperfield and analyzed how the child hero's natural dispositions are crushed by faulty training. Through his early schooling and youthful experiences, David gains a knowledge of the wretchedness children may suffer in the rigidly practical Victorian society which tended to regard little ones as small-scale adults. By means of the story, Dickens is clearly denouncing the excessive eagerness of utilitarians for efficiency and productiveness in education, and his protests are directed against educators, educational establishments and institutions which ignored the child's need to develop at a natural pace in an atmosphere of affectionate encouragement and happiness.

Keywords

Dickens, Charles; David Copperfield; Literatura inglesa; Educación; Sociedad victoriana



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1989.2.03

Copyright (c) 1989 Chantal Cornut-Gentille D'Arcy

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