Charles Twist: The Mega-Post Strikes Back! (David Copperfield Ch. 32)

May I just start off with the fact that I am completely dumbfounded.  A round of applause for Dickens!

–it will never to come back, unless he brings me back a lady.

(Chapter 31)

‘For the Lord’s Love,’ said Mr. Peggotty, falling back, and putting out his hand, as if to keep off what he dreaded. ‘Don’t tell me his name’s Steerforth!’

(Chapter 31)

This changes everything.

In a quick turn of events, Emily and Steerforth run away with each other.  Not only am I completely shocked, but everyone else in the book is as described by their reactions over the next few chapters, which if quoted, i think, could make 10 posts easily.  From Mrs. Mowcher, to Rosa Dartle, the book magnificently illustrates that nobody suspected that Steerforth and Emily had any feeling for one another.

David’s shock, though, must be the greatest of them all.  Although the book is not completely clear about if David had feelings for Emily at this point, it is safe to assume that he did.

Now let’s go back to the quote I used a few posts ago:

‘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)

Although it just seemed a cute moment as I talked about in that post, with the knowledge of what just happened it seems like something much more important then it already was.  I want to focus for now on:

‘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!’

Although at the time I assumed that he meant if he died or had some other accident, it is evidently clear that this is not so.  Already knowing that he would elope with Emily, he knew that he would hurt David very badly, as I will talk about later.  Therefore, he wanted to make sure that there would be no hard feelings between the two.  Although at first I thought it possible that Steerforth betrayed David, this quote from a few chapters ago rebuts that completely.  He cared about ‘Daisy’ so much that he wanted to make sure that David had a knowledge of his love to avoid him being completely crushed by his escapade with Emily.

Next, try to imagine what Davey feels like!  In his mind, at least for a moment, he must have felt completely betrayed by Steerforth, one of the only people I would describe in the book as being a close friend to him.  We can only guess if Davey remembered the words of Steerforth, but searching through his memory of Steerforth he probably did.  David though, might not have been able to accurately see Steerforth’s intentions, and may even feel more betrayed than in the first place.

Davey might feel as if he lost his only friend, and that isn’t a nice feeling.

Now, I expect that David will go and try to find them, and maybe they will even end up with somebody from Davey’s past, judging by the way Dickens’s books tend to go.  I hope that, either way, Davey is able to confront Steerforth, and find out everything he wants to, and then hopefully Steerforth will be able to explain everything to his little ‘Daisy.’

-Paulie 🙂

PS: Not counting this postscript, this post has exactly 700 words!  My OCD rejoices at this fun fact 😀

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