The Knight Of Yarmouth: Fruitless Hero's Journey

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The Knight of Yarmouth: Daniel Peggotty 's Fruitless Hero 's Journey

In the world of the David Copperfield, particularly through the eyes of David himself, there exists two types of heroism. The first type is born and lives on through David 's childish nature. It is the type of heroism that David sees in his storybooks, the type of heroism that makes David want to fight off creatures or fight fires to earn his love for Dora (Dickens 159 and 480). This heroism is ultimately contrasted by the heroism of reality. Many characters perform heroic deeds, such as David stepping up to provide after his aunt is ruined. However, this mature type of heroism is not strived for, but rather ignored which leaves characters to be naiive about the harsh
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No matter how noble the premise is, however, Mr. Peggotty does not seem to live in a world that can support this hero. Throughout these passages, Dicken 's continues to use language that suggests an endlessness and hopelessness to Mr. Peggotty 's journey. In the first mentioning of Mr. Peggotty 's search for Emily, he leaves David with some "last words" in case "any hurt should come" to him (480). As stated earlier, these "last words" suggest that Peggotty expects this journey to be long, perhaps even so long that he will not see the end of it. Once again in David 's intermediate meeting, Peggotty states that even though he traveled far and wide and has not found her yet, he is still willing to "go ten thousand mile," he will go "till [he] dropped dead" (595). This language of longevity and death begins to set the tone for the journey overall. Mr. Peggotty, while he hopes to find her, keeps mentioning an end to this where he does not succeed. This fixation on an unsuccessful end frames the entire journey as a failure, or at least something that will never succeed. By using these words and ideas over and over, Dickens creates a vision of this journey as endless and fruitless, something that will consume Mr. Peggotty entirely. [And, in fact, it does seem to consume Peggotty. In his final scenes with David, Mr. Peggotty 's entire life has been revealed to revolve around Emily and her status. Feeling as if he is unfulfilled in the completion of his original quest,…show more content…
The Emily he went on a journey for is not the Emily that he finds. In describing her experiences and current state, Mr. Peggotty highlights how Emily "took bad with fever" and the "language of that country went out of her mind," so to her memory of who she was (732). Mr. Peggotty also relays that in her state of delirium, Emily was "begging" for that "old boat," and most importantly, for "forgiveness" (732). Emily 's loss of her health and her memories seems to be a sort of dissociation from her current, post runaway, self. Furthermore, it is in this delirium that reverts Emily to the memories of the past and thus, Emily begs and believes that she can go back to the old boat and be forgiven. Once she is called "Fisherman 's daughter," she snaps back to reality and gives up the dream of returning back to Yarmouth (733). The "fear of not being forgiv, fear of being pinted..fear of many things" deters her from returning to her home. In a sense, it is Emily 's fear that best represents both the change of her and her separation from Mr. Peggotty. Through these experiences, Emily has realized how her actions have affected her family, her community, and her status among the both. She realizes, as Rosa Dartle says, her "crimes" and that now, she must "hide" herself and "live obscure" (726).With this, we go back to Mr. Peggotty 's initial ignorance of Emily 's actions and the unrealistic expectations he
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