David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Martha Endell Character Analysis

Martha is a Yarmouth woman who used to go to school with little Em'ly. By the time both women are grown, however, Martha has become an outcast; the strong implication is that she has had a premarital affair. Emily is one of the few people in Yarmouth who continues to treat Martha kindly, much to the frustration of Ham, who views Martha as a potential source of corruption. Emily even goes so far as to loan Martha some money, although it doesn't seem to do her much good in the short term; when David next encounters Martha in London, she hints that she is working as a prostitute. She has not forgotten Emily's kindness, however, and eventually helps reunite Emily with Mr. Peggotty. In fact, Martha even accompanies the Peggottys to Australia, where she starts a new life by marrying a farmworker.

Martha Endell Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below are all either spoken by Martha Endell or refer to Martha Endell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Puffin edition of David Copperfield published in 2013.
Chapter 47 Quotes

"What shall I ever do!" she said, fighting thus with her despair. "How can I go on as I am, a solitary curse to myself, a living disgrace to every one I come near!" Suddenly she turned to my companion. "Stamp upon me, kill me! When she was you pride, you would have thought I had done her harm if I brushed against her in the street. You can't believe—why should you?—a syllable that comes out of my lips. It would be a burning shame upon you, even now, if she and I exchanged a word."

Page Number: 570
Explanation and Analysis:
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Martha Endell Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Martha Endell appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 22: Some Old Scenes, and Some New People
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...poor and miserable-looking woman following Emily and Ham (this will later turn out to be Martha Endell). David assumes the woman must be a beggar, but Steerforth is disturbed by the... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...saw following little Emily and Ham earlier, and learns from Ham that her name is Martha. Martha begged Emily to speak with her as a fellow woman, but Mr. Peggotty wouldn’t... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...door and motions for Ham and David to enter the house. Once inside, David sees Martha kneeling on the floor and little Em’ly standing nearby. Little Em'ly says that Martha wants... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
As soon as Martha leaves, little Em'ly begins crying and tells Ham that she is not as "good" as... (full context)
Chapter 23: I Corroborate Mr. Dick, and Choose a Profession
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
David is still thinking of little Em'ly and Martha the next morning, but he feels that it would be a betrayal to share what... (full context)
Chapter 30: A Loss
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...continues to be anxious and unhappy. David then asks Omer if he knows anything about Martha, but Omer doesn't know much, although he says he pities her and doesn't consider her... (full context)
Chapter 40: The Wanderer
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
...Mr. Peggotty. This in turn causes David to recognize the woman he had seen as Martha Endell.   (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
At that moment, David notices Martha is at the door of the public-house and worries that Mr. Peggotty will see her... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
As Mr. Peggotty and David leave, David sees Martha—who has listened to their entire conversation—sneak away before them. David walks with Mr. Peggotty to... (full context)
Chapter 46: Intelligence
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...herself in the city, which Mr. Peggotty sorrowfully agrees is true. David therefore suggests that Martha might be able to find little Em'ly, explaining how Emily had helped Martha in the... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...are approaching Blackfriars Bridge, and Mr. Peggotty is on the lookout for any sign of Martha. Eventually, they see a woman on the opposite side of the road and begin to... (full context)
Chapter 47: Martha
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
David and Mr. Peggotty continue to follow Martha into Westminster, where she approaches the riverside. The neighborhood is wet, impoverished, and littered with... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
David calls out to Martha, who at first struggles to get away. When she sees Mr. Peggotty, however, she lets... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Once Martha has stopped crying, David asks her if she knows who he and Mr. Peggotty are,... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Mr. Peggotty reassures Martha that he is in no position to judge her. He says he knows that she,... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
David and Mr. Peggotty tell Martha everything they know of little Em'ly's whereabouts, and provide her with their addresses so that... (full context)
Chapter 50: Mr. Peggotty's Dream Comes True
Home and Family Theme Icon
...Mr. Peggotty, however, is as certain of finding her as ever, despite the fact that Martha's messages to him have never led to anything. He even travels to Naples to try... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
On one of these visits, Mr. Peggotty tells David that he has seen Martha recently, and that she told him not to leave London in the near future. David... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
As David and Martha reach Martha's room, they see a woman enter before them. David recognizes her as Rosa... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
As Rosa is speaking, David hears footsteps on the staircase, and Mr. Peggotty rushes into Martha's room as Rosa leaves it. David sees him catch little Em'ly as she faints, and... (full context)
Chapter 51: The Beginning of a Longer Journey
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...a madam who promised to find her work as a seamstress. At this point, however, Martha found Emily and took her back to her room. Although she told Emily that she... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Em'ly was found, and Omer—though pleased to hear about Emily—asks what will now happen to Martha. David is sure that Mr. Peggotty has not forgotten about her, but admits that he... (full context)
Chapter 57: The Emigrants
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Mr. Peggotty asks David whether he has any final words for him, and David mentions Martha. At this, Mr. Peggotty gestures to a young woman who is helping Mrs. Gummidge with... (full context)
Chapter 63: A Visitor
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
David asks about Martha, and Mr. Peggotty says she married a farm-laborer, who is aware of her "true story."... (full context)