Abraham in red going to sacrifice Isaac in blue, and Daniel in yellow cast into a den of green lions,

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: David Copperfield (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: I Have a Change

To a child, these are among the most memorable and dreadful events in the Hebrew Testament: the story of God's commanding Abraham to take his son, Isaiah, to Mount Moriah and there sacrifice him, and Daniel's being put into a burning furnace and his being cast into the lions' den.

Daniel, from the Book of Daniel, has visions and can interpret dreams as well as mystical signs, such as the handwriting on the wall that appears at Belshazzar's feast, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin, inscribed by a disembodied hand. Various advisers attempt it, but Daniel construes it to mean, loosely, "weighed, measured, and divided," which foretells Balshazzar's imminent doom. He dies the next day when the Persians overrun his land. 

Daniel Peggoty is also a fisherman, which in the novel will link him with the New Testament. Jesus was a fisher of men:  "Come after Me," Jesus urges, "and I will make you become fishers of men." At least two of the disciples, the brothers Peter and Andrew, were fishermen, and the brothers James and John were possibly the sons of a fisherman. The disciples James and John were fishermen and two other disciples were the sons of fishermen. There is the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and the fish was an early Christian symbol. The Greek letters for fish were a coded acronym for the early, persecuted Christians meaning "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior."

Dickens emphasizes the colors in this and the next paragraph to show the vividness of the impression this moment made upon David.

Part of the appeal to David of the Peggotys' home is its scaled-down size—recall how huge things such as a hallway at the Rookery appeared to him—just as children find travel trailers, with their miniaturized appliances and furnishings. 

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