by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield Chapter 58 Summary
- David travels away from England for the first time.
- Slowly, he comes to realize how far he is from everything he loves.
- He feels this immense and deepening grief over the loss of Dora.
- Feeling worse and worse, David roams from place to place.
- When he feels at his darkest, he thinks he should die.
- David travels like this for months.
- He winds up in Switzerland, where he is impressed by the scenery.
- As David walks down a mountain pass one evening , he feels a sense of calm that pushes aside his sorrow for a time.
- David finally weeps for Dora's death as he is surrounded by all of this beautiful, natural scenery.
- Once David arrives at his destination, he finds a bunch of letters.
- The letters are from Agnes.
- Agnes is happy, and praises David for his strength in the face of his own misfortunes.
- David feels a sudden flowering of love for Agnes.
- He writes to her, saying that, without Agnes, David can never be the kind of man he wants her to be.
- David spends three months in Switzerland trying to recover his spirits, to be a better man.
- He works hard on his writing during this period.
- David sends a completed story to Traddles, who has it published.
- His fame as a fiction-writer is growing day by day.
- Furthermore, David is exercising all the time, so his health is much improved.
- During this time, David becomes sure that he must already have thrown away the possibility of Agnes's love.
- Even if she once had those kinds of feelings for David, he is sure that they can't have survived his marriage to another woman.
- As David tries to become a better man, he hopes that, some day, he might still marry Agnes.
- But as time goes on, he slowly gives up on this hope. He feels that he is not worthy of her.
- David realizes that the years of trials Dora had foreseen (and died before experiencing) are happening to David now, and he has no partner to help him.
- It's been three years since Mr. Peggotty traveled with Emily to Australia (so David must now be in his mid to late twenties).
- David sails home.
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