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‘The First Miracle’ by Jeffery Archer, ‘Memories Of Christmas’ by Dylan Thomas and ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens

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Introduction

'The First Miracle' by Jeffery Archer, 'Memories Of Christmas' by Dylan Thomas and 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens Turkey, Santa and presents are just a few of the things we associate with Christmas. There are also many stories that have been written about or set around Christmas-We have read three: 'The First Miracle' by Jeffery Archer, 'Memories Of Christmas' by Dylan Thomas and 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. This is a summary of what these particular stories are about. 'The First Miracle' is about a young boy in roman times, living with his mother and father in Bethlehem, He goes to the market to do some shopping and on his way home he witnesses the birth of Jesus. When he gets home he experiences a miracle when his dad beats him because he doesn't believe the boys story, the boy is completely unharmed. 'Memories Of Christmas' is a collection of Dylan Thomas' own Christmas memories from when he was a child living in Wales all rolled into one slightly poem-like story. And 'A Christmas Carol' is about a mean wealthy man called Scrooge who pays his workers badly and doesn't like Christmas at all until one night (Christmas eve) three ghosts appear to him as predicted by another ghost (his dead business partner) They show him the past, present and future Christmases of his family and friends and the progress of a small cripple boy Tiny Tim. Scrooge is so moved by this experience that he changes into a kind, generous man who enters into the spirit of Christmas. These stories are all similar in many ways, but also very different. They are all the same in that they are all about children and the role they play in their family. They all give out a message of some sort: Dylan Thomas ,The magic that children feel at Christmas. Jeffery Archer, The miracle of Jesus' birth and that Christianity is for everybody. ...read more.

Middle

The members of his family are not described in much detail but I still get a good idea of the characters and their role in the family .It seems that he has quite a big family but he only mentions a few uncles and aunts "Aunts and uncles sat by the fire." He never mentions a mum or a dad, This may be because he was looked after by other members of the family as his parents were dead .This would have made his family especially important to him. There is uncle Arnold who comes over as quite a fat man "The mince pies finished uncle Arnold." But he seems a cheerful friendly old man who is quite close to the family. "Auntie Bessie playing 'pop goes the weasel' and 'Nuts in May' and 'Oranges and lemons' on the untuned piano." You get the impression that he only sees these aunts and uncles once a year at Christmas and yet they are still very important to him .It is hard to say their individual roles in the family as they are not very well defined .Only a few characteristics of each member are mentioned ,I think this is because he can only remember the main points of each person from certain things that they did. Mrs Griffiths appears to be a grumpy old woman who is not a member of their family and is not well liked by him and his friends "We tobogganed down the seaward hill, all the afternoon, on the best tea tray, and Mrs Griffths complained, and we threw a snowball at her niece." Mrs Prothero I think is Dylan Thomas' neighbour who he remembers vividly due to an incident with a fire that happened one Christmas Eve. Mrs Prothero was a very loud and fussy woman when the fire broke out "Fire, call the fire brigade, cried Mrs Prothero as she beat the gong." ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to the visions that he sees with the spirits Scrooge eventually changes into a jolly, generous and giving man who enters into the spirit of Christmas. He even buys the Cratchits an enormous Christmas turkey and goes to his nephews party. My impression of Victorian family life from these two scenes are good ones because everyone seems so happy and close to one another that it is almost too perfect .I think that the novel as a whole gives a better idea of what life was really like rather than these two scenes on there own however you can clearly see the divide between the rich and the poor of society. This is a bit like the clear divide between the locals and the Romans (invaders) in 'the first miracle' but in 'Memories of Christmas'; all of the people mentioned belong to one large group. There doesn't seem to be any divides in the community. Conclusion The part that struck me most about 'the first miracle' was the vivid section where the birth is actually taking place because the descriptions are so vivid that you can picture every detail and it gives it that extra thing it needs to make it realistic, and come to life. My favourite part of 'memories of Christmas' is when they go carol singing and the man behind the door is a scary old man with a funny voice. This is because I like the character of the old man and the way he is described in particular the description of his voice. The cratchits Christmas dinner is, in my opinion, the best part of the story 'a Christmas carol' because of the way I can picture it via clever usage of similes and metaphors I think that my favourite story is 'a Christmas carol' because it has a clear story line which I like in a story and it has some really good descriptive passages. They all show the role of the family really well in different ways and it is interesting to see how different the roles of the families are in the different periods. ...read more.

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