Thesis Abstract: Fairy Tale Elements in David Copperfield

While reading David Copperfield, one –who is acquainted with fairy tales – can easily find out that this novel is peppered with fairy-tales elements. The novel’s plot, subplots, motif, metaphors, and vocabulary are like of a traditional fairy tale. The novel itself is evidence that Dickens was familiar with traditional fairy tales. On research, I found out that Dickens was not only familiar but was intimately attached to fairy tales and folklores. Moreover, many critics also have detected Dickens’ clever use of fairy-tale fashion.

His love for fairy stories began when he heard these stories from his maid. Later, Dickens use to read these stories. Dickens celebrated fantasy because of the immense pleasure he got from such stories. These folklore and fairy tales played a major role in shaping his work in a number of ways.

The essence of Dickens is the clever blend of a fairy tale in his art. It is the rare blend of fantasy and reality, fairy tale and social concern in a dickens novel that lends it its magical quality. His novels are a refreshing combination of the everyday reality he saw reflected around him and his own imagination, shaped in good measure by the fairy tales he had read as a child. The art and technique of the fairy tale suffuse his novels on almost every level.

David Copperfield contains a fairy-tale plot, motif, and other elements of fairy tales. The story traces the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity. Its hero, orphaned, grows up to discover love and happiness, heartbreak and sorrow amid a cast of eccentrics, innocents, and villains. The protagonist, after initial encounters with the greed, injustice and hatred in the world, finds happiness and security in a typical fairy tale fashion. The end of the novel is like typical fairy-tale ending in which the prince and princess, after marrying live “happily-ever-after”.

David Copperfield reveals Dickens’ use of fairy tale elements in it. This novel is not only a ‘realistic’ tales which explore the reaction of an individual consciousness to given situation, it also relate the fear of having faced the world on one’s own, and sudden joy of finding the one with whom one can be happy.

Certainly, the fusion of reality and fairy-tales in David Copperfield is evident on different levels. Dickens was fond of fairy tales and was not able to escape from their influence, and his writing, especially; David Copperfield is an open evidence of this influence. In the shade of critics’ point of view and analysis of David Copperfield, we can say that Dickens adhered to fairy-tale fashion throughout the novel.

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