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ANSWERS - TEST 2
11. Set up the reason for this question by explaining that Dickens himself regarded Agnes, as opposed to Dora, as the "real heroine." You may want to discuss your definition of "heroine"- the hero's mate, the most admirable woman character, or the book's main female interest. Compare David's relationships with Dora and Agnes and discuss how each one seems to relate to the book's themes. Then state which one you feel to be the heroine. Support your choice by showing how that character fits into the book's themes and values. You may also be subjective-talk about which character is more effective and has more impact upon your imagination.
Refer to specific passages, however. You may even want to propose another character as the novel's heroine, such as Betsey or Emily. If you do this, keep your discussion of Dora and Agnes brief and announce early that you think neither one is the heroine. Then show how your heroine fits one or all of the roles of a heroine better.
12. Try to work through the book chronologically, discussing various incidents where David deals with servants or waiters. These will range from the occasional waiter at an inn (as in Chapters V and LIX) to David's household servants (beginning with Mrs. Crupp and concluding with the page who gets arrested). Discuss what you learn about David from the way he handles hired help. You may then want to look at how other characters deal with their servants: Clara Copperfield with Peggotty, the Micawbers with the Orfling, or the Steerforths with Littimer. Discuss how these relationships illustrate the novel's themes, especially regarding discipline and families. If you think the role of servants expresses Dickens' view of society in some way, explain.
13. Discuss various methods Dickens uses to signal his characters' personality traits with quick identifying "tags." You may want to list some examples in each of these categories: stock phrases (Barkis, Mr. Micawber, Mr. Wickfield, Uriah Heep), compulsive gestures (Miss Murdstone, Tommy Traddles, Uriah Heep), or a dominant adjective (Mr. Murdstone, Uriah Heep, Littimer). Also consider Dickens' brilliant use of names. Write about several different names, such as Murdstone, Gummidge, Steerforth, Traddles, Creakle, Heep, Dartle, or Spenlow. For each one, describe the image it creates in your mind, and relate it to the personality of that character. Also discuss the number of different names David answers to-Mas'r Davy, Trotwood, Daisy, Doady-and discuss how these names reflect his changing personality.
14. Although psychology had not yet become a science in Dickens' time, he intuitively understood many of its principles. Discuss specific examples from the book where Dickens probes the workings of the human mind. In the earlier chapters, you may want to concentrate on his acute insights into child psychology. For his adult psychology, look at the unbalanced personalities, like Uriah Heep and Rosa Dartle, and more ordinary people's little neuroses, such as Miss Murdstone's repressed love for her brother or the gruff front Betsey presents to the world, You may also want to look at Dickens' descriptions of disordered states of mind, such as drunkenness, infatuation, and dreams.