Nicknames Friendship Again (David Copperfield Ch. 31)

‘Good Night!’ said I, ‘My dear Steerforth!  I shall be gone before you wake in the morning.  Good night!

He was unwilling to let me go; and stood, holding me out, with a hand on each of my shoulders as he had done in my own room.

‘Daisy,’ he said with a smile– ‘for that’s not then name your Godfathers and Godmothers gave you, it’s the name I like best to call you by– and I wish, I wish, I wish you could give it to me!’

‘Why so I can if I choose,’ said I.

‘Daisy, if anything should ever separate us, you must think of me at my best, old boy.  Come! Let us make that bargain.  Think of me at my best, should circumstances ever part us!’

‘You have no best to me, Steerforth,’ said I, ‘and no worst.  You are always equally loved, and cherished, in my heart.’

… ‘God bless you, Daisy, and good night!’

(Chapter 29)

In this quote Dickens illustrates the deep bond that Steerforth and Davey have for each other.   More specifically, the love that Steerforth has for “Daisy.”

Before this, the book actually hints at the fact the Steerforth just hangs around David because he amuses him, but as the book progresses this image changes.  We start to see Steerforth having a genuine love for, not only David, but everyone who knows David, and everyone around him.  For example, he loves the Peggoty’s and everyone around there after only visiting once with Davey.

Also, Even more explicitly stated is “Daisy’s” innocence and general child-like state of mind.  Naively, after Steerforth asks David to give him a nickname, he only replies that he could if he wanted to.  Also, I loved how Steerforth stumbles over this request.  They way he nervously keeps repeating “I Wish” as he thinks over in his mind what he is about to say.  I’m not sure if he is nervous about what David would think, or if he is worried about David’s reply, but he is definitely worried.

Also, the way that Steerforth says “If circumstances every part us” multiple times makes me wonder if something is coming up…  Oooh Foreshadowing!

-Paulie 🙂


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