By Claude Levi-Strauss
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He corroborated everything, remembered everything, enjoyed everything, and underwent the strangest agitation' (Stave n). The Ghost pours cold water on the apprentices' gratitude: 'A small matter... to make these silly D 35 THE CHANGE OF HEART (i) folks so full of gratitude ... ' Then he suddenly remembers his present self, and gently urged by his ghostly analyst, moves towards self-criticism. ' The Ghost employs the same mimicry when he shows the terrible children, Want and Ignorance. Scrooge's newborn horror, like his compassion, is answered by his own words: 'Are there no prisons?
Pip is marked by a dominant 45 THE C H A N G E OF H E A R T ( i ) flaw like Scrooge, but the flaw does not absorb the whole vitality of the character. He is a more realistic and analytical Martin Chuzzlewit and he is shown subjected to the influences of accident and environment, and hardening in his pride and ingratitude, though never without some measure of shame. The main converting event is his discovery of the source of his expectations, but this is a fairly complex business, involving the delicately handled shifting relationship with Magwitch.
Martin's conversion is much slower than Scrooge's immediate and successful transformation, but although Dickens says it is slow, it is shown in a way which gives no impression of the real pace. Dickens is very often showing moral development in narrative cul-de-sac, not equating the main action of the novel with the action of change. In David Copperfield there is rather less of a gap between the flow of events and the moral action. The nature of the moral change has been discussed by Gwendolyn Needham, who points out that for David the moment of insight comes when he hears Annie Strong tell of 'the first impulse of an undisciplined heart' and 'love founded on a rock* ('The Undisciplined Heart of David Copperfield', Nineteenth Century Fiction, ix (1954), 81-107).