David Copperfield records the life experiences of the title character as he grows from impressionable youth through adulthood. His experiences shape his character and shape the choices he is forced to make. The people involved in his life, with their positive and negative influences, play a role in determining who he will become. This classic coming-of-age tale explores nineteenth century social conditions and their affect on one person, David Copperfield.
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.
In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first, that I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, that I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits; both these gifts inevitably attaching, as they believed, to all unlucky infants of either gender, born towards the small hours on a Friday night.