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A Prose Study - Charles Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol'

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Introduction

A Prose Study - Charles Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol' Scrooge has become one of the most commonly know characters from Charles Dickens's novels, in the respect that he is the most horrible and callus of all his characters, this dastardly individual was used to convey a serious social message about the extreme neglect of Victorian employees. The first chapter of 'A Christmas Carol' prepares the reader for the rest of the novel. Dickens does this by creating antipathy for scrooge and by introducing gothic elements to prepare the reader for the arrival of the spirits later on in the book. In the 18th century Charles Dickens was one of the most important and listened to social commentators. 'A Christmas Carol' was written to convey Dickens's social message to the rich. Dickens creates antipathy for scrooge because he wants his readers to dislike scrooge and reject his way of life. Scrooge represented everything Dickens hated in the rich and this dislike is conveyed using Dickens own didactic voice; through the way scrooge behaves towards others; and through the description of scrooges house and home. By using his own didactic voice Dickens directs the readers thoughts. ...read more.

Middle

Scrooge is suggesting that the poor are expendable and surplus to requirements and that their deaths would be welcome. Dickens wants the reader to see that Scrooge doesn't care about the poor and that he thinks they are worthless. Scrooge then goes on to say, "it's not my business" which suggests everything to him is business and if the poor cant offer him any business then he does not care what happens to them. This shows how inhuman scrooge is and makes the reader dislike Scrooge all the more. The way Scrooge lives reflects the character that he is. The description of Scrooge's house and home is also used by the writer to allow us to judge Scrooge for ourselves. "Darkness was cheap and Scrooge liked it" This shows us that although scrooge has a lot of money he does not live a rich lifestyle. This suggests that Scrooge does not like to spend his money on things he feels he does not need for example heat and light. This shows us Scrooge is cheap and only interested in the acquisition of money, not spending it on comfortable items, even for himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

He represent the plight of Victorian workers with no rights, a Victorian could be fired without cause and without pay for the work they had done that week, the employer also reserved the right to deny holiday to his workers. However this may not of affected the reader at the time must have been able to afford the book and so were probably slightly stingy with their money also, Dickens makes Scrooge absolutely inhuman without empathy, feeling or remorse for anyone not even himself. This is shown in the way he won't buy a candle to light his house by saying 'Darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked it'. Even though Scrooge has money he refuses to enjoy it he just keeps it. In chapter one dickens really sets the reader up for the rest of the novel by getting across the message he is trying to convey in his book, by creating antipathy for scrooge and also by using elements of gothic horror to prepare the reader for the spirits. Charles Dickens wanted to change the way the Victorian poor were treated by the rich. Dickens achieved this to a certain extent but its hard to see how much Dickens's novels actually helped changed peoples preconceptions. However, the novels must of done something to enlighten people to the suffering that was happening all around them. Ruth Pates ...read more.

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