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A Christmas Carol

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G.C.S.E Prose Study Coursework: A Christmas Carol By Sarah Birchall With reference to the context, language and structure, consider three of the factors that have been contributed to the enduring popularity of A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Carol is a straight forward allegory. It deals with its particular subject of Christmas in a way that conveys deeper meaning. The significance of the novella being called a "carol" is because a carol is a song or ballad of joyous emotions celebrating Christmas. Dickens carried this musical idea further by naming the chapters; staves. A stave is the archaic form of a stanza or a verse of a song. Each of the middle staves revolves around a visitation by one of the famous Spirits, who each in turn carry out a thematic function. Above all, A Christmas Carol is a celebration of Christmas and the good it iinfluences. At Christmas time, people forget negative issues in their lives in favour of joyeous situations. Scrooge learns the lessons of the Christmas spirit through his visions of the three ghosts: Christmases past, present, and future. With each visit he sees either the negative responses of other characters to his misanthranpic nature or the good tidings that others bring about through their love and kindness. ...read more.


For example," Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, covetous old sinner! The cold within him froze his old features...A frosty rime was on his head... He carried his own low temperature always about him" This particular section of text describes the misanthropic Scrooge in Stave One. The present participles give a sadistic tone; he's constantly poorly behaved. "Cold...Frosty" create a cold - hearted, empty feel to Scrooge. The words relate to the lifeless and dull atmosphere. This section emphasises Scrooge's avarice. The exclamation mark after "Scrooge!" shows the narrator being appalled, shocked at Scrooge's behaviour. In my opinion this reflects on the reader's judgement. There is no hint that this sinister figure will become the comical Scrooge of the last chapter. In Stave Five we as readers are growing to like Scrooge more through the previous staves, due to his gradual change. "I am as happy as an angel; I am as merry as a school boy... A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!" This quotation shoes that Scrooge is rambling a little. It shows he is excited and overwhelmed. Also that he wants to be benevolent and philanthropic. In this story we know Scrooge is a nothing more than a character, but in my opinion I think he shows real tendencies portraying reality. ...read more.


This Ghost shows Scrooge a man's death, unbeknown to Scrooge that it is him. It shows the opinions of others to the death. The use of pleasure and relief contrasts with the lack of compassion and the lack of respect which surprises and shocks Scrooge, reflecting his own present composure. At the end the ghost shows Scrooge a grave, which Scrooge realises is his. The silence makes Scrooge work out and understand that he needs to change. "Assure me that I may yet change these shadows you have shown me by an altered life... I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year." This shows Scrooge's desperation for comfort and for redemption. To conclude I think that the use of all my chosen 3 factors contribute to the enduring popularity of A Christmas Carol. By using an interesting and engaging narrator, linked with clear characters helps to draw in the reader and make the story easier to remember and adapt to a wider audience of all ages and interests. I think the use of realism and fantasy is the most important factor however. This is because both adults and children can relate and interact with reality and fantasy. It also makes the story more enjoyable; different and contrasting. I especially liked that Dickens showed through the use of the supernatural so the ghosts who convey deeper reality based meanings. The fantasy broadens the imagination, whereas the reality leaves a clear and relevant message. ...read more.

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