Comparing the use of books in Mill on the Floss and David Copperfield

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Comparing the use of books in "Mill on the Floss" and "David Copperfield" In "David Copperfield," Dickens employs books and learning to read as a means to demonstrate the irrationality and hatefulness of Mr. Murdstone and his sister. In these scenes, David is obviously quite young and just beginning to conquer the world of letters, which had been an agreeable task at his mother's knee before she remarried. Mr. Murdstone and his sister, however, see …

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…of the girl that he intends to marry. It is clear that the Duke is an insanely jealous man who feels that his wife should treat others –as he does—as if they were nothing. Instead, the late Duchess treated others, the Duke tell us as "if she ranked/ My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name/ With anybody's gift" (p. 462). Browning implies that the Duchess met a nefarious end at the hands of his aristocratic megalomaniac.