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Nibs_
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Registered: ‎05-19-2009

Re: Uriah Heep

[ Edited ]

Everyman wrote:
I have always had mixed feelings about Heep.  On the one hand, revulsion, which is I think what Dickens was aiming for. But on the other hand, pity, which I'm not sure Dickens was. He is such a sad creature.

   I do feel sorry for Uriah Heep because he seems to me to be a version of David Copperfield himself, but was not as fortunate in his childhood - something Uriah directly states later on.  I think that his physical appearance largely affected that, also.

 

  Speaking of Dickens' intentions, it seems to me that Dickens actually was wanting you to take a good look at Uriah's character, and make your own judgments.  But it is David, as character and unreliable narrator, who villainizes him to the reader, calling him a "redheaded animal", conjuring up these ugly ideas about Uriah that he shares with the reader and that influences the reader's opinion even more greatly than Uriah's actions.   Why is it okay for David and Steerforth to have strong bonds to their mothers, but it is strange for Uriah to do so?  Why is it okay for David to woo Dora against her father's will (and Steerforth to have all manner of affairs), but Uriah's schemes to marry Agnes in a legitimate relationship are so very dastardly?  I think David recognizes his similarity to Uriah and is trying to distance himself, but sometimes he can't.  He is also driven by jealousy for Agnes. 

 

  Another point I'd like to make about Uriah's villainy in the novel is that Uriah actually has no power of his own, unlike other Dickensian villains.  He is not violent or strong like Murdstone and certainly doesn't have the charm of Steerforth.  Uriah's villainy is only possible because of the weaknesses of characters like Wickfield, Micawber, and to some extent David - all of whom perpetuated and allowed the "evil-doing".  Just an interesting thought! :smileywink:

Message Edited by Nibs_ on 05-19-2009 07:53 AM
Message Edited by Nibs_ on 05-19-2009 07:54 AM
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Nibs_
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Re: Jasper Fforde and David Copperfield


pedsphleb wrote:

I'll try a little humor to alleviate Laurel's sadness :smileywink:

 

Jasper Fforde uses Dickens's characters quite often in his Thursday Next novels.  One of the premises of his BookWorld is that the characters in a novel can alter the plot of a book, unbeknownst to the Real World, but the BookWorld laws prevent this.  Thursday learns from her lawyer, when she goes on trial for altering the ending of Jane Eyre so Mr. Rochester and Jane end up together, that he represented David Copperfield when he went on trial for murdering his wife :smileysurprised:  I always have a chuckle at that part because it always seemed to convenient for Agnes that Dora should die and Agnes then marries David.... :smileyvery-happy:

 

In the same novel, a very bright young man by the name of Uriah Hope (working for the bad guys) is tranformed into the snivelling Uriah Heep when he gets too close to the Mispeling Vyrus.


Laurel wrote:
My eyes are puffy this morning. Last night I got to the part that makes me break into sobs every time I read it. Why do you do this to me, Charles? And did you have to add a dog to the mix?


 


   LOL, that's very funny!! Honestly,  after reading the novel myself I did have a silly wicked thought - Agnes, rival for David's affections, is the last person to see Dora alive.  Coincidence?  I think not.  :smileyvery-happy:

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Nibs_
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Re: Comparing the Villains in DC


PhoebesMom wrote:

I read a post somewhere on another site re: the villains in DC and David's response to them.  I can't find the post to refer back to it now.  However it did get me thinking about the topic.

 

The villains I am considering are:  Mr. Murdstone, Steerforth, Uriah Heep, young man with the donkey cart, and Littimer.  With the exception of Littimer, David meets all of them as a young boy.  He feels uncomfortable or has an immediate dislike, even though he doesn't always know why for Mr. Murdstone, Uriah Heep & Littimer.  But he naively trusts Steerforth and the donkey cart man.

 

This brought me to this line of thought, which of these villains are the worst and why?  Is the villian you don't suspect worse than the one you do suspect?

 

Another thought along this line regards Steerforth.  To my way of thinking, he is very much like my idea of the devil.  I don't see satan as a monster with horns and a frightening visage. To me he would be like Steerforth, handsome, friendly, a smooth talking sort of fellow who wants to take you under his wings and help you along, make all your dreams come true.

 

These are just some thoughts that I had and wanted to throw out for comment.


   I think the worst of these villains is Steerforth, because of his subtlety.  All the other villains affect David and cause a change in his life, a growth in is character.  But Steerforth actually seems to corrupt David's personal behavior, to the point that David disregards the breakup of the Peggotty family, condones the bad actions of Steerforth, and mourns over Steerforth - not Ham's - death.  David never really villainizes Steerforth in his own mind, which shows a weakness in David, in my opinion.

 

  I'd also like to note that, the fact that Steerforth dies means he never has to deal with his crimes, unlike those who went to prison.  Steerforth never has to see the effects of what he has done.

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Nibs_
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Re: Comparing Marriages in David Copperfield

That's a really nice assessment of the marriages, PhoebesMom!  I posted about this on George Valsanis' DC site (@Ellopos.net), and thought I'd toss it out here, too. :smileyhappy:  Something I've recently been noticing about David's love triangle and relationships with Agnes and Dora is the toned-down similarity with other, dysfunctional relations in the novel, and here David is the "villain". Of course David/Dora is a diluted version of the Murdstone/Clara romance, but their courtship - David's attraction to Dora who herself is "very young still", the jealousy he feels toward anyone who tries to separate them, her father as his disapproving law employer - is really similar to Uriah's pursuit of Agnes.

And Agnes' silent attachment to David is reminding me a lot of Rosa Dartle's stifled obssession with Steerforth, which developed after they grow up in the same house - with David's marriage to Dora the mirror of Steerforth's fling with Emily. (Agnes' "loyalty" also reminds me of Mrs. Micawber's "I'll never desert you!") A lot like Rosa, Agnes is suffering in this relationship, but David's romanticized narration causes us to forget that. But think how different the "bad" relationships in the novel would seem if we were hearing it from the POV of Steerforth, Uriah, or Murdstone, who could justify themselves! It just makes you wonder about hypocrisy in the novel - if deep down David is really as hugely different from these men as he insists.

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Nibs_
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Uriah Heep and Agnes Wickfield

Since the storyline with Uriah Heep and the Wickfields is one of my favorite in the novel, I've been paying close attention to it and have come out with some interesting findings and a few questions.

  First of all, I would like to know what, exactly, is Uriah's motive in his intentions towards Agnes.  At first glance, and according to David, Uriah has a purely physical attraction.  But Uriah is only 15, and Agnes only 11-12, when David joins the household and Uriah has already develped feelings for her.  Also, Uriah IS wanting to do the "respectable" thing and marry her.  I'm just kind of wondering why David is so appalled by Uriah's feelings for Agnes (I mean obviously Uriah's way of going about it is wrong but David just seems to object to the relationship), unless it is simply jealousy.  I have a feeling I'm missing something there so any input or ideas are appreciated!

 

  And also, if Uriah's as evil as he is supposed to be, I still noticed that nowhere in the novel does Mr. Wickfield actually say Uriah can't marry Agnes.  Even though he gets angry at the dinner table, he never says "I won't allow it!"  He is just disgusted by the thought - it is only Agnes who puts a stop to the marriage.  So Wickfield is more concerned with his reputation than his daughter's life - talk about weakness! :/

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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Uriah Heep and Agnes Wickfield

Welcome, Nibs!  It's great to have you with us.  When you reply to posts, try clicking on the "Quote Post" button at the top right of the reply screen (there's a little white dialogue balloon there).  This will copy the post you're replying to in the box.  This makes it easier for readers coming along later to see what message your post is addressing and allows us to follow the conversation.

 

Thanks!

 

 

~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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Nibs_
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Re: Uriah Heep and Agnes Wickfield


ConnieK wrote:

Welcome, Nibs!  It's great to have you with us.  When you reply to posts, try clicking on the "Quote Post" button at the top right of the reply screen (there's a little white dialogue balloon there).  This will copy the post you're replying to in the box.  This makes it easier for readers coming along later to see what message your post is addressing and allows us to follow the conversation.

 

Thanks!

 

 


Thanks for the advice, ConnieK, I've been trying to quote most of the posts but I must have overlooked my last one. :smileyhappy:

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ahaft
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: David Copperfield referred to in Fahrenheit 451

In the Modern Library Edition in the notes the phrase ""The spirit fluttered for a moment on the threshold of its little prison, and, unconscious of captivity, took wing."...apparently refers to DC's first wife Dora having a miscarriage.

Without the endnotes in the book I wouldn't have figured this one out from this one sentence about the spirit taking wing on the threshold of its little prison! Anyway, after this moment, Dora becomes sick and dies. Cause of death is never stated. It seems in that time it was more a mystery than in our more medically sophisticate era.