David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Jip Symbol Icon

Jip, Dora Spenlow's dog, is a symbol for Dora herself. Jip learns to do impressive tricks that include standing on his hindlegs, but he can never be taught to stop walking across tables or chewing up books. This is likely because Dora spoils him, insisting that he have mutton chops every day and buying him a pagoda to live in. Like Jip, Dora is pretty and charming but completely lacking in practical domestic skills and resists David’s attempts to teach her to do basic things like budget finances or cook. Jip's descent into old age similarly parallels Dora's declining health; significantly, he dies on the same night that she does.

Jip Quotes in David Copperfield

The David Copperfield quotes below all refer to the symbol of Jip. 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 48 Quotes

Finding at last, however, that, although I had been all this time a very porcupine or hedgehog, bristling all over with determination, I had effected nothing, it began to occur to me that perhaps Dora's mind was already formed.

Related Characters: David Copperfield (speaker), Dora Spenlow
Related Symbols: Jip
Page Number: 580
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 53 Quotes

"I am afraid it would have been better, if we had only loved each other as a boy and girl, and forgotten it. I have begun to think I was not fit to be a wife.

[…] If I had been more fit to be married, I might have made you more so, too. Besides you are very clever, and I never was."

"We have been very happy, my sweet Dora."

"I was very happy, very. But, as years went on, my dear boy would have wearied of his child-wife. She would have been less and less a companion for him. He would have been more and more sensible of what was wanting in his home. She wouldn't have improved. It is better as it is."

Related Characters: David Copperfield (speaker), Dora Spenlow (speaker), Agnes Wickfield
Related Symbols: Jip
Page Number: 638
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jip Symbol Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the symbol Jip appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 26: I Fall into Captivity
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...take a walk in the garden. On the way there, he comes across Dora's dog, Jip, who snarls at him. Nevertheless, he continues to fantasize about Dora as he takes his... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...it—declares that he won't leave England for any reason "under existing circumstances." At that moment, Jip appears and begins yapping at David, who in turn grows jealous when Dora picks the... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...asks whether David knows Miss Murdstone well and complains about her some more, saying that Jip could just as easily be her "protector." She continues to talk to the dog, saying... (full context)
Chapter 33: Blissful
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
When David arrives at Mr. Spenlow's, he finds Dora sitting in the garden with Jip and a friend named Miss Julia Mills. David presents Dora with a bouquet of flowers... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
David bursts out that he is in love with Dora while Jip stands nearby barking. He grows more and more passionate as he continues, saying he will... (full context)
Chapter 37: A Little Cold Water
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...realizes David is talking about himself, she scolds him for lying and threatens to make Jip bite him. David finds her "childish" demeanor adorable, but nevertheless assures her that he is... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...refuses to listen to anything more about how hard he is working, and insists that Jip must be able to eat mutton-chops every day. David agrees to this and tries to... (full context)
Chapter 38: A Dissolution of Partnership
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...many letters from Miss Mills, and eventually managed to get her hands on one that Jip had found and started chewing. (full context)
Chapter 41: Dora's Aunts
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...persuade her that she's wrong. Instead, he watches as she shows him a new trick Jip has learned (standing on his hind legs in the corner of the room). Eventually, Lavinia... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...aunts are scandalized by the odd times at which she visits, like just before tea. Jip, however, does not like Miss Betsey and has to be shut away whenever she visits.... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...more delightful than ever." Eventually, the cookbook ends up serving mostly as a surface for Jip to stand on while holding the pencil case in his mouth. David can't help but... (full context)
Chapter 43: Another Retrospect
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...approve. Dora, however, sometimes buys less practical furnishings instead, including a "Chinese dog house" for Jip. Peggotty is also hard at work on David and Dora's behalf, cleaning the cottage and... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
...as its master," although it has already been furnished with everything from Dora's guitar to Jip's dog house. (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...forgetting things. Finally, Dora says her goodbyes to her aunts and leaves with David, carrying Jip to reassure him that she still loves him. Just before she and David get in... (full context)
Chapter 44: Our Housekeeping
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...wish there were more room around the table: the cottage is crowded with things like Jip's dog house, Dora's guitar, and David's writing table. What's more, Jip continuously gets up on... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...to Dora's delight, David agrees, and she spends the rest of the evening playing with Jip. According to David, this conversation lingered in his mind for a long time afterwards. (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...to learn cooking and accounting. She is no more successful than before, in part because Jip keeps walking across the account book and smearing the ink. This then distracts Dora, who... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...the household keys around with her, although she mostly uses them as a toy for Jip. David lets the matter be, however, because Dora enjoys "this make-belief of housekeeping." Dora also... (full context)
Chapter 48: Domestic
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...Dora is worried that David will be cross and tries to distract him by holding Jip up to his face. Eventually, however, she does as David says and sends Jip off... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...of apologizing for his behavior, he buys Dora some earrings (along with a collar for Jip), and then sits her down for a conversation. (full context)
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
One day, Dora tells Miss Betsey that when she is well, she will make Jip run around again, because he is growing lazy. Miss Betsey gently tells her that Jip... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...days pass. Consequently, David begins to carry her downstairs each day, which amuses Dora—particularly because Jip, Miss Betsey, and Mr. Dick often form part of the "procession." However, David can't help... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Assist at an Explosion
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...won't forgive them if Miss Betsey stays home on her account: she threatens to make Jip bite her, teasingly claims that Miss Betsey never does anything to help her, and claims... (full context)
Chapter 53: Another Retrospect
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...she has been ill, but that it is slowly becoming clear she will never recover. Jip, meanwhile, is old and frail, and spends his days lying next to Dora. However, Dora... (full context)
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
David waits downstairs as Agnes goes to speak with Dora, watching as Jip sleeps uneasily in his dog house. Weeping, he begins to think back over his dissatisfaction... (full context)