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A Christmas Carol-Charles Dickens

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Introduction

Charles Dickens was a Victorian writer. He was born in Landport, Portsmouth, on February 7, 1812. When he was twelve his father, who was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, was imprisoned for debt in Marshalsea debtor's prison. Dickens had to leave school at this early age to work in the Warren's blacking factory, where he earned six shillings a week. His family's position deteriorated and his personal resentment increased. Dickens found all of this humiliating and this is where he got his inspiration for much of his fiction from. Dickens eventually left Warren's blacking factory due to his father receiving a legacy from a relative, meaning he could pay off his debt and leave Marshalsea debtor's prison. Dickens' father, John Dickens, then sent Charles to Wellington House Academy, where he stayed for two years until 1827. He then went to Gray's Inn where he worked as a clerk, studied shorthand and became a reporter of debates. He worked there until the age of fifteen. Working here may have helped Dickens write 'A Christmas Carol', because Dickens was a clerk, so this could have helped influence the character Bob Crachit. Charles Dickens wrote 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843. It was mainly written to build awareness of the severe circumstances of the poor children. The novella speaks of Ebeneezer Scrooge as being a cold-hearted, tight-fisted, self-centred man being transformed into a warm-hearted, generous, jovial man, due to visits from the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, and from the three ghosts of Christmas. ...read more.

Middle

He also uses harsh plosive words which combine to create a shocking image, therefore readers can 'see' what he is saying, and thus his critique of social injustice is delivered forcefully. Dickens only employs such imagery later on because it would be too intense to use it at the start of the story so he eases the readers in and gradually builds up to this intensity as the tale progresses. Despite Dickens saving Scrooge's complete transformation until the end, we get brief sightings of remorse and guilt at the end of each visit by the ghosts. "Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!" Dickens has structured this story so that the audience gets early glimpses of Scrooge's redemption because it would be unrealistic to show Scrooge having a sudden change at the end. He also wants Scrooge to the show the accumulated effects of each visit. This is probably because it's important for the reader to have empathy for the main character (Scrooge), throughout the story. If the readers can relate to Scrooge, they might decide to change their own actions towards the poor and the social problems around them. If they cannot, it will seem that selfish attitudes are Scrooge's alone and have nothing to do with them. One of the most largely discussed scenes of the story is Scrooge's reaction when The Ghost of Christmas Future reveals to him Tiny Tim's death. ...read more.

Conclusion

By repeating "of my own free will" it shows Markey didn't have to act in this way, it was completely his own choice. This is letting the reader know that they also have "free will" actions to decide on their own not to be a bad person if they are one. Every Victorian reader will pick up the significance of the phrase "free will." It would remind them that if they acted badly they would go to hell, as every Victorian had religious sensibilities, compared to our more secular concerns in the modern age. At the end this quote, "you" is italicized. This is because, not only is Marley talking to Scrooge, Dickens is talking to the reader. It's almost as if he is asking "Are you making chains for yourself?" In conclusion, Dickens is trying to teach us the importance of celebrating Christmas with family and friends. However, the message goes far past this. It goes on to tell us that we should love everyone, regardless of their class in society. Dickens was most successful in writing this book as a social commentator with an important message to deliver. Not only did this novella help change the social problems 166 years ago when it was first read, this novella continues to help people see the modern day problems in society. The decent words right at the end of the story, spoken by Tiny Tim "God bless us, every on," sum up the meaning of Christmas, and this quote is now used famously each year. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Deri A Christmas Carol Coursework ...read more.

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