78 pages 2 hours read

Charles Dickens

David Copperfield

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1850

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Chapters 19-29Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 19 Summary: “I Look About Me, and Make a Discovery”

After David graduates, he finds himself unable to decide on a career, and Miss Betsey suggests that he visit Peggotty until his mind has cleared. Sending David off with a generous wardrobe and purse of money, Miss Betsey advises him to be worthy of the “sister” she wishes he’d had, to be “A fine firm fellow […] With resolution, […] With determination. With […] strength of character that is not to be influenced, except on good reason, by anybody, or by anything” (649).

When David announces his plan to leave, Agnes asks him if he has noticed any changes in her father. David observes that Mr. Wickfield has been drinking a great deal—he has noticed his hand trembling and his speech slurring. They agree that he is experiencing distress over some mysterious business with Uriah Heep.

 

Doctor Strong hosts a farewell party for David. At the party, Annie’s mother reveals two separate letters that Jack Maldron has written: one to Doctor Strong, and one to Annie. In the letter to Doctor Strong, he claims that he is sick and coming home on leave. In the letter to Annie, he confesses that he is coming home because he wants to see her.

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