David Copperfield

Pandemic allows time and space for unnecessarily-long projects. I slog through Charles Dickens’s novel David Copperfield, much, much longer than anticipated. He writes somewhat well, focusing on characters at the expense of brevity and craftsmanship. The San Francisco library recalled in December my copy of Copperfield, which I renew in the new year.

Much of the story focuses on the disgrace of orphaned Little Emily, betrothed to honest but poor Ham, but horribly sullied by wealthy conniver Steerforth. The topic of virginity is glossed over, but nonetheless presumed paramount to a woman’s integrity. After Steerforth “ruins” Emily, many counsel Emily to kill herself.

Why must this precious virginity continue to captivate? Haven’t we moved on as a people from such animalistic concerns? I infer the greatest debacle for a man is to raise a child who is not genetically his own, that is a false bastard. He would then be giving resources to a child that does not have his genes. The only way to prevent such scurrilous bastard raising then is to insist on bride virginity.