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A Christmas Carol: The History Behind

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“A Christmas Carol” was set in 1843. The story was written by Charles Dickens and shows what poverty was really like. It shows the gap between the working and upper class and how wide the gap really was between them. For example, diets were very different between the two classes. Working class would be eating bread, butter and meat, as the upper class were eating fresh fruit and vegetables and also fresh meat. Charles Dickens felt very strongly about the poverty gap as you can tell in his writing. He uses Scrooge to mention the work-houses and prisons.

Scrooge is a wealthy man and believes workhouses and prisons should be used and kept in poor conditions. Dickens does this to show have the poor had been exploited by the rich. It shows the rich didn’t pay workers a lot of money so there was a lack of social mobility. The poor couldn’t get enough money and were forced into poverty, but the rich didn’t help. Dickens uses the story as a tool to show how the poor were treated in hope it would help them. However in the 1843 Christmas was the season of good will; the rich would give money for the poor. Yet, Scrooge doesn’t change like everyone else for Christmas so he stands out.

This helps compare what people were like when it wasn’t Christmas to when Christmas came with free will. In stave one, we meet Scrooge. Dickens uses many adjective to describe Scrooge. He writes “he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! ” From this we can infer that scrooge is a violent, sad, old man who keeps himself to himself. We can see this because all the words used to describe Scrooge all relate to negative descriptions, such as violent, pulling, tight and self conflict.

It is important to get a good description. Because it helps the readers keep an image in their mind, thus engaging them. Another way Scrooge is described by Dickens is by being compared to cold weather. An example of this is, “The cold within him froze his old features. ” From this we can infer that Scrooge always has a straight, gloomy cold face. Charles Dickens uses this to help us create the image that he’s never happy and this is because of the coldness within him. Dickens also uses similes to describe Scrooge. One simile is “hard and sharp as flint!

” Flint is a hard piece of stone used to make sparks therefore this tells us that Scrooge can be stubborn at times and hasn’t got a lot of patients. We can see this as hard can be associated with stubborn. Also, sparks could be associated with angry, his could get angry very easily also showing he hasn’t got a lot of patients. These Descriptions give us a negative description of scrooge making sure the reader gets the right impression. It also tells us Scrooge isn’t a nice man and doesn’t like to help other (those in poverty).

Here Dickens is giving us an example of why people were in poverty, because people like Scrooge, the wealthy, didn’t help those in need. In stave two Charles Dickens uses different methods to show his concerns of the 1843. One way of this is through characters. An example of this is Scrooges ex-fianci?? e Belle. She left him because of his obsession with money; we know this because in the story Belle says “our contract is an old one. It was made then we were both poor and content to be so, until, in good season, we could improve out worldly fortune by out patient industry.

You are changed. When it was made you were another man. ” This is a good example of how the working and upper classes split apart and how the big poverty gap began. It also shows how Scrooge became a lonely old man, due to an obsession with money, as he pushed everyone away. This also suggests how poverty became so bad as to succeed like Scrooge, you also have to work hard and be greedy, subsequently pushing people away. Another way dickens shows his concerns is through the settings.

One is Scrooge’s old school described as, “A mansion of dull-red bricks with a little weathercock-surmounted cupola, on the roof” It was also described as, “walls damp and mossy… windows broken… many room they found poorly furnished cold and vast. ” From this we can infer how education was treated and how poor schools were. This was another way Dickens highlighted poverty, as without a good education you couldn’t escape poverty. And as there were no good school with good education, everyone was stuck in poverty and unable to get out.

In stave three Scrooge starts to change his attitude and also how he feels about poor people. This is shown in a number of ways in this stave. One way that shows Scrooge’s attitudes changing is the way he acted when he met the ghost of Christmas present. When he met the ghost of Christmas past, he spoke rudely. An example of this is, “who and what are you? ‘ Demanded Scrooge” The imperative ‘demanded’ suggests Scrooge was really rude and didn’t care how he spoke to others. But when the second ghost came he was apprehensive and shy.

An example of this is “Scrooge entered timidly, and hung his head before the sprit. ” His reaction to the two ghosts is very different showing he’s changing. Away that shows Scrooge is changing is how he feels about the poor, initially he believed “if they rather die’ Said Scrooge ‘they better do it, and decrease the surplus population. ” Although in stave three he says, after hearing about Tiny Tim, “oh no, kind sprit, say he will be spared” Then after saying this he hung he head when reminded of what he’d said previously. Scrooge is shown to be changing as he is compared to himself throughout the book.

This is a good way of engaging the reader as it reminds you of what was said in at the beginning of the story, it also show Dickens concerns as it shows the rich were oblivious to the poor which could be and is properly why they didn’t try and help them. There is a difference between the two ghosts. The first ghost was described as “Like a child yet not so like a child as like an old man. ” This ghost is the ghost of Christmas past. The other ghost is described as, ” a jolly giant wearing, one simple deep green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur.

This garment hung loosely on the figure. ” (Just like Father Christmas but green). These two ghosts are different to engage the reader as if it was the same ghost every time the reader would lose interest. The different ghosts also enter and deliver their tenses different this is also to engage the reader, as the book isn’t as predicable as the reader would think. Stave four introduces the ghost of Christmas yet to come. Unlike the other ghosts being shown as friendlier, this ghost is described as a, “solemn phantom” and said to spread, “gloom and mystery”.

This engagers the reader as a different ghost is shown; “a solemn phantom, draped and hooded, coming like a mist along the ground towards him”. This is an example of gothic literature that a Victorian reader would expect; it also shows a different side to ghosts and the fact that not all are jolly and friendly, keeping the reader guessing on what is happening next. Scrooge is shown a beetling shop in a different area of town, described as, “crime, filth, and misery. ” Three adjectives are used to emphasise the dreariness. An old man, Joe, lives in the shop; the shop is not clean and sells second hand pieces of scrap.

“Iron, old rags, bottle, bones, and greasy offal. ” The shop is also described as having “secrets that few would like to scrutinise were bred and hidden in the mountains of unseemly rags, masses of corrupted fat, and sepulchres of bones. ” Dickens uses this to show his concerns of poverty and not just families are stuck and unable to get out but, also elderly people who are too unhealthy to do jobs, so they find it hard to get a good job. Scrooge is also shown three people selling a dead man’s objects to the shop. They don’t believe it is a sin to steal these things from him though, they use the excuse, “it’s a judgement on him.

” They think this because the old man didn’t treat people nicely, when he was alive, so he shouldn’t be treated nicely now he is dead. This engages the reader as they see the consequences of actions as Scrooge did, showing them ‘you reap what you sow’, one of the morals Dickens portrays. The ghost also shows us how people felt about Scrooge, as Scrooge’s gravestone was described as a place, “over run by grass and weed”. And also used the sarcasm of, “a worthy place”. From this we can infer no one cared for Scrooge compared to Tiny Tim whose grave is shown as, “how green a place it is”.

This links back to Dickens moral, you ‘reap what you sow’, engaging the reader as it shows how your actions can have consequences as Scrooge is starting to see. Stave five shows how Scrooge changes after seeing all three ghosts. Dickens shows us he is at home and is happy about it as she uses repetition in his description. “The bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all the time before him was his own, to make amends in. ” from this we infer Scrooge does want to change and does want to help others and be a nicer person as he appreciates what he has.

This also links to poverty as Dickens using Scrooge as a means to show how people can help others. As on of the thing scrooge does to help, is to help Bob and Tim Cratchit. Dickens also uses humour to engage the reader as he tricks Bob into thinking he’s in trouble, Scrooge says. ‘ I am not going to stand for this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,’ he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the tank again – ‘ and therefore I am about to raise your salary!

” This add humour to the story engaging the reader and making sure the ending isn’t going to be disappointing to them. Also shows how he thinks poverty should be stopped as we see Scrooge giving Bob a raise in his salary to help his family. Dickens uses ‘A Christmas Carol’ to show the poverty of the 1843 and how it could be changed if people change. It shows this with Tiny Tim, because if Scrooge didn’t help him he would have died. He also uses ‘A Christmas Carol’ to show morals and what your actions can do to you.

The moral I have found by reading this story is ‘you reap what you sow’. This means you should treat people how you would like to be treated. Dickens shows this through the character Scrooge as, at the beginning of story, he treated people rudely saying things like “if they would rather die, then they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. ” Scrooge changes after seeing how he would be treated when he dies; he didn’t like it. Dickens uses this moral to engage the reader and show them what would happen if you acted like Scrooge did before he changed.

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A Christmas Carol: The History Behind. (2017, Oct 10). Retrieved from

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