Personality-David Copperfield is a narrative of learning, what are the key lessons David gains from his experiences? We have to remember that David's character development isn't just an entertaining story; David learns so that we can learn along with him. Dickens uses David to demonstrate the kind of value system Dickens thinks we should all have. David achieves everything he wants in life because he is sympathetic, hard-working, and affectionate – all traits that he learns from the adventures he encounters.
In his run-ins with the abusive Murdstones, David experiences the isolation, poverty, and loneliness that make him sympathize with the underdog as an adult (think of his interest in the Peggottys, Emily, and Martha Endell). Don't get us wrong, David's no socialist. He believes in natural distinctions between social classes. In David's early days in London, for example, he feels very different from the other boys working in the bottling factory because his father is a gentleman and their fathers aren't. At the same time, David also recognizes the underlying humanity that unites everyone, despite differences in birth and wealth. David interacts with working-class characters with great sympathy – even though he voices a fair number of stereotypes doing so.
Characters change? From Miss Betsey, David learns the importance of self-reliance. Once Miss Betsey loses all of her money, David rises to the challenge of looking after his former benefactor, discovering that he is capable of supporting a family in a way that his own parents (notably Mrs. Copperfield) never could. This lesson serves him well when he must care for his "child-wife," Dora. It also earns him the respect of the equally hard-working and self-sacrificing Traddles, who remains David's true friend for the bulk of the novel. With David's writing talent and willingness to work, he wins the worldly success that his poor birth could never guarantee for him.
Speaking of friendships and their...