My reading of David Copperfield continues and last night I attended the first session of Tim Strzechowski's Dickens class at the Newberry Library. Our discussion focused on the first 12 chapters. The narrative voice was one issue and the notion of a "double vision" or "double voice" for David, the first person narrator. This was the first time Dickens made extended use of the first person but he was effective, particularly expressing both the innocence of youth and wonder of the young David while subtly signifying the older David's narrative voice as he looked back on the events.
I was impressed with the relationships David has developed, especially his friendship with Steerforth who is portrayed as a charismatic character with a portent of darkness in his demeanor. As a reader I am not as trusting as the narrator. We are also introduced to the Micawbers in this section of the novel, with Mr. Micawber's famous dictum on the nature of happiness and misery. What fun!