in which I had perversely wandered away from the voice of my own heart;

Category: Mind | Type: Discussion | Title: David Copperfield (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Wickfield and Heep

If the "heart" knows when it has "come home," why then doesn't David seek happiness there? Why does he and why do others in the novel pursue instead what the heart warns leads away from happiness? (Freud some seventy years later in Beyond the Pleasure Principle takes up the question of our perverse ways of denying ourselves happiness.)

David has not one but two opposing homes in which reside two very different women. The Rookery is the old home lost through his mother's behavior. He wants to revive and redeem it and perhaps be to Dora the husband his mother lost to death.

And then there is his other home, that now of his heart—changeless, peaceful, and capable of offering the pilgrim a secure resting-place. David's being a posthumous child encouraged him to fill the vacancy in Dora's life created by her father's death (to do right by Dora-Clara what Murdstone had done ill). David's truncated relation with his mother, combined with his own developing sexuality, has dominated his attraction to women. 

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