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A Christmas Carol - How does dickens explore the theme of social responsibility in Victorian England?

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Introduction

How does dickens explore the theme of social responsibility in Victorian England? Charles dickens wrote 'A Christmas Carol' for a certain reason, and that reason was that he wanted to make people aware of the terrible situation the children of the poor were in. He visited a school in 1843 and was appalled by what he saw there. It was a school for the poorest children to teach them basic reading and writing skills. The children's employment commission had also shocked him. At first dickens had the idea of writing a pamphlet called 'an appeal to the people of England on behalf of the poor mans child' but soon realised that seen as he was the most popular novelist of the time people would take much more notice he wrote about the terrible conditions in a story. ...read more.

Middle

Up until the second half of the 19th century people were still drinking water from the Thames in which raw sewage flowed into, causing several outbursts of cholera along with the great stink of 1958, the disease and sewage in the drinking water made a link with Dr. John to find that all the victims of the cholera outbreak was connected with the same water pump. A plan was put together by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, completed in 1875, which finally provided adequate sewers to serve the city. A new law was put into place 'the new poor law' enacted in 1834. Before it had been burden of all the parishes to take care of the poor. The new law required that all the parishes worked together to create regional workhouses where aid could be applied for. ...read more.

Conclusion

Poor children didn't go to school, only rich children did, and there were very few of them. They had bad nutrition and ate food that didn't help their health. The poor were treated differently to other people; they were treated as slaves and were put away if they were in debt, which most of them were. On being sent to the workhouses families were split up leaving the children traumatised. Fathers felt they needed to go to the workhouse so they would be able to provide for their family. Dickens was a champion to the poor, he repeatedly pointed out the atrocities of the system in his novel. He has made scrooge the main character because he is a nasty, selfish man who only cares about himself. He is the kind of person who wouldn't think about the poverty of children. I think that ...read more.

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