David Copperfield: Chapter 16 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 16: I am a New Boy in More Senses than One

      Dr. Strong, the new headmaster was a scholarly man. He was thinking of preparing a new Dictionary. He was a kind and sympathetic man, loved and respected by all. Dr. Strong's school was very different from Mr. Creakle's school. It appealed to the honor and good faith of the boys. They all felt that they had a hand in the management of the place and in sustaining the character and dignity of the school.

      David was put in the lowest grade in the school, since he knew nothing. In the beginning, he was a bit uneasy but very soon under the influence of Mr. Wickfield and his daughter Agnes, he became comfortable. Agnes told him that she could not be spared to go away to school, as her mother had died at her birth and so she had now to take her place as her father's housekeeper. She said that she was very fond of her father. David was so impressed by Agnes that he felt goodness, peace and truth would be present wherever she was. For this reason he decided to stay with them.

      Mr. Maldon was a cousin and childhood playmate of Dr. Strong's wife Annie. Annie seemed to be very fond of him. At a party given on the occasion of Mr. Maldon's departure for India, David had met Mrs. Strong and her mother Mrs. Marklehan. Mrs. Strong (Annie ) was a very good singer but she could not sing at the party. When Maldon had departed holding something cherry-colored in his hands, she was found unconscious on the hall floor and the cherry-colored bow she was wearing on her bosom was found missing. When she was asked about it, she said that she had it a little while ago but anyhow it did not matter and was not worth looking for.

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