It seems like David is having a hard time getting his Dora to explora. We also get to see that despite this, she is a very important and complex character.
She is too scared about… pretty much everything.
I had reason reason to believe that in accomplishing these failures we incurred a far greater expense then if we had achieved a series of triumphs. It appeared to me, I’m looking over the tradesman’s books, as if we might have kept the basement story paved with butter, such with the extensive scale of our consumption of that article. I don’t know whether the Excise returns of the period may have exhibited any increase in the demand for pepper; but if our performances did not affect the market, I should say several families must have left off using it. And the most wonderful fact of all was, that we never had anything in the house.
It was around here we see that everybody was taking advantage of David. I am actually not surprised at all; If they knew anything about Dora they would have probably assumed David was just as naive, especially since he married her. That is why they thought they could fool him easily. Although David saw through it, Dora didn’t, and was proven to be even more naive than we originally thought throughout the chapter. For example, David was able to keep Dora busy by pretending that he needed something copied and having her do it, or feigning wanting a new pen.
I also love how he was asked if he paved his basement with butter. 😋😋😋 That would be a waste of butter and probably very horrible but it sounds delicious!
I wish,” Resume to my wife, after long silence,” that I could have gone down into the country for a whole year, and lived with Agnes!”
‘I don’t mean, you silly fellow, that you should use the name, instead of Dora. I only mean that you should think of me in that way. When you are going to be angry with me, say to yourself, “it’s only my child wife!” When I am very disappointing, say “I knew, along time ago, that she would make a child wife!” When you miss what I should like to be, and I think can never be, say, “still my foolish child life loves me!” For indeed I do’
This has to be one of the most sophisticated ways we have seen Dora thus far. Before and after this, she is her normal “child wife,” but here we see someone who is intelligent, caring about the feelings of others, and somewhat intuitive. She recognizes her faults, and proposes a possible solution (staying at Agnes’ for a year to learn from her). She even goes as far as to put herself in David’s shoes, see what it must be like for him, then go back to herself and try to come up with something to say that he could easily remember to console him. Although until now Dora is viewed as a helpless little girl and sometimes somebody who does not want to change, this speech by her can be taken a few ways.
It is important to note that she herself stated that she had an issue. She recognized it was there.
It is possible to say that Dora is schizophrenic, but I don’t think that is at play. Although I’m not sure what it is, it is obvious there is some reason Dora acts so child like, and it is most likely to cope with something, similar to Mr. Dick. Dora is obviously intelligent, but at the same time is able to switch it on and off. She is extremely selfish, but tries to think about how David feels and care for him.
I think that it may be possible that some past experience has traumatized Dora into having some sort of phobia about growing up. It is obviously not a phobia of getting old, but maturing mentally, as she has only a few issues with marrying David. Whatever trauma she experienced is instilling in her some reason to try to stay young and like a child, at least on the outside best she can, but she knows very well on the inside that she is far from it. She allows this small crack of her inner self, so slight that David might not entirely notice it but slight enough to key him in that there is a problem, possibly to try to trigger him to try to help her in overcoming this trauma. It’s also possible that she had no idea that she was doing this, and it is obvious David has yet to have seen the full picture and that something is coming up that will reveal it.
I can’t wait to see more of Dora! She is very quickly developing into a complex and important character. Unfortunately, I noticed the same thing with Steerforth and we all saw how great that ended up.