David Copperfield: Chapter 10 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 10: I Become Neglected, And Am Provided For

      Peggotty was given a month's notice, soon after the funeral. The Murdstones completely neglected David. They did not tell him anything about his future, except that he was not going back to school. Peggotty had decided to go back to Yarmouth since she could not get a suitable job at Blunderstone. David was permitted to accompany her for a fortnight. Mr. Barkis came to fetch them to Yarmouth. Peggotty wept a lot on leaving the old house. When she felt better, Mr. Barkis moved up close to her and asked her if she was comfortable. David was sandwiched between the two lovers until he could hardly bear it. This happened quite a number of times on the journey.

      Mr. Peggotty and Ham were waiting for them at Yarmouth. They carried Peggotty's trunks to the boat house as they walked along. Peggotty asked David if she should marry Barkis. David approved of it, since that would enable her to visit him frequently.

      Mrs. Gummidge was a gloomy as ever. Emily looked very pretty and gay. She teased David and captivated his heart by her pleasant, shy and sly manners. Mr. Peggotty and Ham inquired about Steerforth and David praised him to the hilt. Emily seemed to be very interested in whatever David said in praise of Steerforth.

      Mr. Barkis was a regular visitor. He always brought a present for Peggotty which were various and of the eccentric type. He spoke very little but one night he took the wax candle which Peggotty kept for her needle work and produced it from his pocket whenever she was in need of it.

      Towards the close of David's visit to the Peggottys, Mr. Barkis, Emily, Peggotty (the nurse) and David set out together for a day's holiday. Mr. Barkis was all made up in new clothes. Peggotty was neatly dressed as usual. Instead of throwing an old shoe for luck as suggested by Mr. Peggotty, Mrs. Gummidge burst into tears and cast a damper on the party's departure. However, everything turned out well. On the way, Mr. Barkis and Peggotty went into a church and came out married. Then all of them drove to a little inn, had a nice dinner, and spent the day cheerfully.

      Back home at Blunderstone, David felt utterly neglected. Peggotty came to meet him almost everyday, though he was not allowed to visit her. David came to know by and by the Mr. Barkis was a miser. He kept his money in a box and Peggotty had to make elaborate schemes to wring out any money from him.

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