The artistic charm of David Copperfield lies not in its winding and vivid structure, or its ups and downs of plots, but in its realistic life atmosphere and lyrical narrative style. What attracts people in this work are the fleshy characters, the specific and vivid world and customs, as well as the personality characteristics of different characters. Such as Miss Bessie, David’s aunt, in her manners and speech, her dress, her likes and dislikes, and even her actions, though not without exaggeration, paint a vivid picture of an old woman with a strange nature and a kind heart.
As for the portrayal of Peggotty, the maid, this is even more accurate. The setting, especially the storm at Yarmouth, is powerful, vivid and immersive. Dickens was also a master humorist, whose witty one-liners and exaggerated caricature of characters can often be found between the lines of his novels. The chapters of David’s early life show a childhood world that has long been forgotten by adults from a child’s psychological perspective, and are vividly and movingly written. David, for example, has a special childhood sensitivity towards the cruel, cruel and greedy businessman Murdstone who pursues his mother from the beginning.
When Murdstone reached out his false hand and patted David, he saw that it had touched his mother’s unceremoniously, and angrily pushed it away. David repeated to his mother the time when Murdstone had taken him out to play. When he said that one of Murdstone’s friends kept mentioning a beautiful little widow in their conversation, she laughed and asked him to repeat the story again and again. It is told entirely from the point of view of the innocent child, who does not know that it is his mother who is being told, and the young widow, who asks for a reunion, whose fervent hopes for a happy life are already on the page.
David went to her brother’s house with his nurse, Peggotty, whose brother was a fisherman. David saw him coming back from his work at sea to wash his face and thought he had something in common with shrimp and crab, for his black face turned red when the hot water burned it. This strange association is full of childlike interest and Dickens’s characteristic humor. In David Copperfield, Dickens resorts to the cartoonist exaggeration and transformation techniques, with simple language humor to create lifelike characters, leaving us with an unforgettable impression. These cartoon characters fully demonstrate the artistic charm of Dickens’s novels.