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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Book

David Copperfield

Charles Dickens

1850

Link

2016-12-21

[Mother's interviews a common girl who won the affection of her gentleman son, and the son since ran away from home.]

'Do you know what you have done? Do you ever think of the home you have laid waste?’

‘Oh, is there ever night or day, when I don’t think of it! Oh, home, home! Oh dear, dear uncle...’

‘The miserable vanity of these earth-worms! Your home! Do you imagine that I bestow a thought on it, or suppose you could do any harm to that low place, which money would not pay for, and handsomely? Your home! You were a part of the trade of your home, and were bought and sold like any other vendible thing your people dealt in. I speak, I speak of his home - where I live. Here is a worthy cause of division between lady-mother and gentleman-son; of grief in a house where she wouldn’t have been admitted as a kitchen-girl; of anger, and repining, and reproach. This piece of pollution, picked up from the water-side, to be made much of for an hour, and then tossed back to her original place!'

‘No! no!’

‘You love him? You? And tell that to me, with your shameful lips? Why don’t they whip these creatures? If I could order it to be done, I would have this girl whipped to death. She love! That carrion! And he ever cared for her, she’d tell me. Ha, ha! The liars that these traders are! I came here, you pure fountain of love, to see - as I began by telling you - what such a thing as you was like. I was curious. I am satisfied.'
- David Copperfield

This is how leadership class humans think of working class humans, I would guess.