"it was another name for tyranny"

In David Copperfield, firmness becomes synonymous with tyranny, a theme that recurs throughout Dickens' work. Other characters who wield cruel power include Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist (1837-1839), Wackford Squeers and his wife in Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), and Daniel Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841).