David Copperfield By Charles Dickens Summary and Analysis Chapters 61-62

Summary

David receives such a large volume of mail because of his writing that he decides to have Traddles manage his correspondence from London. In particular, David and Traddles discuss a letter that has arrived from Mr. Creakle, the former Salem House proprietor. He is now a magistrate who runs a model prison and the two young men decide to visit him. As Traddles and David are escorted through the building, Mr. Creakle explains that each prisoner is isolated so that they may all be restored to a "wholesome state of mind, leading to sincere contrition and repentance." Mr. Creakle is very proud of two of his model prisoners, Numbers Twenty-Seven and Twenty-eight. David is amazed to find that they are Uriah Heep and Littimer! Uriah is in jail for fraud, forgery, and conspiracy, and when he sees David he sanctimoniously "forgives" David for being "violent" to him and warns him to mend his ways. Littimer was imprisoned for robbing his master, and David learns that he would have escaped had it not been for Miss Mowcher, the dwarf hairdresser.

David frequently visits Agnes to read her parts of his novel-in-progress. All the time he is with Agnes, he thinks of how much he loves her and what a perfect wife she would be.

Shortly after Christmas, Aunt Betsey tells David that Agnes is about to be married. This rouses David to action, and he rides out to see Agnes to break down the barrier "with a determined hand." Agnes is very reluctant to talk about her "attachment" and she begins to cry. David hesitantly professes his intentions and Agnes tells him that he is the only person she has ever loved. Two weeks later they are married.

The wedding is a very simple affair and the only guests are Traddles, Sophy, and Dr. Strong and his wife. After the ceremony, Agnes tells David that the night Dora died, she told Agnes that only she should "occupy this vacant place."

Analysis

Chapter 61 offers a brief interlude from David's romantic problems, and it gives Dickens a chance to comment on prison reform. Although Dickens did not believe in excessive brutality, neither did he condone "soft" treatment for inmates. David, you should note, is very cynical about the "model" prison.

At long last, the long "blind-man's-bluff" romance between Agnes and David is finally resolved in Chapter 62. David finally realizes who it is that he really loves; this is a coup for Dickens; his main character realizes what the reader has hoped for all along.

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Barkis, the cart driver, asks David to tell Peggotty: Barkis is willin'. This means Barkis is




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