Treatment of Children in David Copperfield

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Treatment of Children in David Copperfield

By | April 2006
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"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show". That`s how Dickens define his book. David Copperfield tells the story of a child who loses his father and has to assume responsibilities earlier. Also, it shows the child's treatment by different adults; From Peggotty, who is a lovely woman with David to Jane Murdstone, whose extreme dislike of kids. The book is written in first person because is an autobiography of Dickens, who had a very similar life history: His father went to debtor's prision and he started to work when he was twelve years old. Dickens wanted to stop the unfair treatment of children and he thought that writing a book, a lot of people would know what was going on. He became very popular because he wrote from his own experience and reflected everyday life in understandable ways and employed social criticism.

Dickens decided to wrote about children and the poor mainly because of the increase in London's population, comed by the Industrial Revolution. It expanded job opportunities in the metropolis but did not bring only good things though. An increase in residents of London meant more orphans and poverty, while factories demanded workers and were easier to young children and women to get a job because their wage-levels were lower. So, he grew up seeing childhood misery around him and his heart bled for them. He felt pity about the exploitation and prostitution of kids and he wanted to do something to stop their suffering. Children were the main victims because they were young, confused, weak, vulnerabled, defenseless. He was angry about the conditions of society which had a lot of disease such as cholera and typhoid; poverty, mainly because of the Industrial Revolution; noise; bad housing, as they were poor payed; poor sanitation; crime and the city was overcrowded, with a increased from 1 to 3 million residents. There was also the problem about public...
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