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A christmas carol

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Introduction

How does Dickens make the reader of 'A Christmas Carol' want to keep Christmas well? Charles Dickens (1812-70) remains one of the most widely read Victorian novelists. He was raised from a poor family and as this experience left its mark on him he grew up not forgetting his early brush with English injustice. So many of his works deal with problems of growing up in poverty and the fight for injustices. This is evident in some of his books like Oliver Twist, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. 'A Christmas Carol' which is said to be the first and best of all Dickens' Christmas books became a national benefit and a personal kindness to all its readers. In 'A Christmas Carol', Dickens tells of how Scrooge, a miser learns what Christmas really means. This story tells the reader how Scrooge on Christmas Eve sits in his house and counts his money regardless of what goes on. He just wants to be left alone until the "humbug" of Christmas is over. At the beginning of the novel, Scrooge's nephew reminds him of Christmas as a "time where we think of the poor" However four ghosts-Marley, his partner, the ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come- reveal to Scrooge the mistakes of his way. ...read more.

Middle

It can then be seen that because he was a creditor, he had money, but one can deduce from the couple's reactions that he was unmerciful: "The only emotion that the Ghost could show him caused by the event, was one of pleasure." (Page 107) In contrast to such reactions, Scrooge observes the sadness mingled with tenderness that arises from the death of Tiny Tim. Despite being poor, Tiny Tim is better of because his death bed was surrounded with those who loved and cared for him. Unlike the miser, the only emotion that could be shown due to his death was one of sorrow. This is how Dickens uses these scenes to frighten readers of ending up dead and unloved. Also the reader would want to be like Tiny Tim- surrounded with love rather than Scrooge- "neglected and unloved." Christmas according to Dickens is enjoyable because it is a time of cheerfulness, joy, generosity and abundant food. The Spirit makes Scrooge understand that socially, Christmas is a time where rancour gives way to humour and dissonance to harmony. It is a feast of fellowship and visiting. "But, if you had judged from the number of people on their way to friendly gatherings, you might have thought that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there..."(page 77) ...read more.

Conclusion

According to Dickens Christmas is a time to be happy and charitable. By this Dickens appealed to wealthy people in society of his time to consider the poor and other disadvantaged people in society and show love and kindness through giving, sharing, lending a hand and all forms of togetherness which he thinks gives both parties happiness. This is what Charles Dickens called 'keeping Christmas well'. It can be realised therefore that though Dickens lived in a different era, his ideas on Christmas has not changed. Society today still views Christmas as a time of merry making where-by families, neighbours, relatives and friends share and exchange gifts so as to be happy and enjoy the celebrations. Communities, individuals and various organisations send out presents to charitable institutions, needy people, hospital, care homes and many others. Such attitudes make people feel honoured, valued and esteemed. This, it is said makes Christmas looks what it is. Thus I'm convinced and I agree with Dickens that it is important to keep Christmas well for the message he sends in the story is still significant today. This is why I perceive that Dickens has successfully achieved his aim of portraying his feelings through a thorough meaningful story. That is why his novel 'A Christmas Carol' is still widely read and studied today. By Agnes Ofosu-Asiedu 10 SM Ms Long ...read more.

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