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A Christmas Carol The character of Scrooge and the main themes of the story.

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Introduction

'A Christmas Carol' is the most famous Christmas novella; whenever we think of Christmas we think of Scrooge. Dicken's deliberately chose to publish the book around because people are usually more generous at this time; it is the season of Goodwill. The story was set in Victorian London in the 19th century, when the city was the centre of poverty and crime. Charles Dickens wrote 'A Christmas Carol' because he wanted to make people more conscious of -and was outraged at- the conditions in which working classes lived in. When he was a child, his father was incarcerated for debt and his family did not have enough money so he had to go to a workhouse. This novella, like many of his other works such as 'Great Expectations' and 'David Copperfield', was inspired by the events in his life such as working in the Blacking factory as a child. The story has a supernatural theme. Despite some secularisation in 19th century when the Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species led people to doubt Christianity for the first time, the Victorians were largely obsessed with the idea of life after death and were interested in ghost stories. Supernatural stories are generally written with the intention of scaring the reader, however, 'A Christmas Carol' is a story of morals and at the end the main character learns from his negative past. The story also plays on people's conscience and makes them worry about life after death. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, the simile 'hard and sharp as flint' tells the reader how heartless and uncaring Scrooge is. Flint is a piece of rock that is very sharp and hard and nothing can get to it. .The characteristic hardness of flint links to Scrooge's character, showing how Scrooge is just as unchanging: nothing will make him feel sympathetic towards poor people, and nothing will make him a nicer, more caring person. It emphasises that he is very callous and only cares about how he is doing and how much money he has, but he does not care the slightest about other people. You can tell a lot about a character by observing the way they behave and by other people's attitudes towards them. Firstly, we get to know that Scrooge does not like to socialise and be pleasant to people. We get to know this as we see that he is miserable towards his only relative- his nephew. When he invites him to Christmas dinner, Scrooge repeats 'Good afternoon' to show that he is not interested in socialising and he does not wish to discuss it. He is infatuated with money, so on Christmas he wants to be in his office working. He also thinks that love is ridiculous, and he criticises his nephew for marrying for love: "Because you fell in love' growled Scrooge, as if that were the only thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas." ...read more.

Conclusion

My first impression about Scrooge was that he is a stingy, appalling, unpleasant old man who only cares about money. Dickens has influenced me about the way I think about Scrooge: he made me realise that partly he was the way he was because of his childhood; he grew up without a mother, and his father hated him, which led him to view love as unimportant in life. I enjoyed the story as it was very entertaining and interesting to read; in my opinion Dickens portrayed the character of Scrooge very well through his use of effective language devices which make Scrooge's character vivid and larger than life. The book has a universal theme which society should live by every day, not just on Christmas. The message in 'The Christmas Carol' is that you should think about people who are less fortunate, not only about yourself and you own well-being. Still now, there are lots of people who are like Scrooge: all they care about is money and they never give themselves a break and enjoy themselves. Another message is that people should value the important things in life, not money. Even though Scrooge was a wealthy man with lots of money, he was poor in terms of happiness, morals and generosity. It shows that money does not bring happiness, as he chose money over his fianc�e Bella, who got happily married while he was leading a miserable sad life. Through these themes it conveys the true meaning of Christmas: that it is about being happy, generous and caring to others, not a commercial holiday. ...read more.

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