• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the descriptions of the four ghosts in A Christmas Carol. Which do you find the most effective and why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare the descriptions of the four ghosts in 'A Christmas Carol'. Which do you find the most effective and why? Dickens' little Christmas book, 'A Christmas Carol', was one of many of Christmas novels, however the book, as well as selling six thousand copies in one week, has become Dickens most famous novel. Although the Victorians opinions of ghosts were conformist and modern day reader's opinions are more lax; the variety of spectres ensured it appealed to both ages and revived the charitable meaning of Christmas for the Victorians. The first ghost Dickens introduces to the reader is Marley and he uses vivid adjectives to illustrate the typical conventions of a ghost. Some of these conventions are shown when Dickens writes, 'The same face: the very same', and describes his clothes as, 'usual waistcoat, tights, and boots'. In saying that the ghost has, 'the same', face and clothes as the person it originated from, it conforms to the stereotypical image of a ghost. This makes the reader feel more comfortable with the opening of the novel; allowing the reader to make the prediction that the other ghosts would be similar. This successfully results in the reader being shocked later on in the book. Furthermore, Dickens uses personification to create the suspense and fearfulness that the reader would expect a ghost to do. This is evident with the quote, ' flame leaped up', and, 'it cried, "I know him! Marley's ghost"'. ...read more.

Middle

This representation is further emphasised with the imagery, 'now with one leg', and, 'now with twenty legs' as it gives an interesting, visibly imaginable example of the change. These quotes are successful as the reader can see that the ghost represents the fact that every action has a consequence. Though you might not see the consequence instantly, it will appear in the future. This is extremely unconventional for a ghost. Likewise, Dickens uses hidden meanings to make the spectre even more irregular. He describes the tunic as, 'the purest white'. White is associated with purity, innocence and can also be angelic. This implies that the ghost is not evil and the thought of a ghost being somewhat similar to an angel would disturb Christian families, as ghosts can be an analogy to hell. Though it surely was a controversial comment, it paid off and is one of the most imaginative quotes in the book. The two first ghosts are extremely different from each other. In the ghost of Jacob Marley, Dickens uses conventional ghostly ideas such as being transparent and looking the same as the person they were however, the ghost of Christmas past is unusual due to the fact it is described as being like a child and wearing white. The impact on the original reader is that they begin to favour the second ghost as it's human-like feature make it easier to associate with. The juxtaposition between the ghosts is effective because it makes the reader want to find out whether the next ghost is conventional or not. ...read more.

Conclusion

An obscure interpretation is that the quote is a metaphor for how the ghost make everything miserable and grave in it's presence; because the ghost is also very grave, it makes the ghost indistinguishable from its surroundings. This successfully contrasts sharply with the previous two ghosts, as they were less severe and more unconventional. This results in the reader feeling discomforted by the return to the typical stereotype. The two final ghosts vary completely from each other. On the one hand the ghost of Christmas present is very unconventional. He represents charity and good will, which should be the meaning of Christmas. This is successful, as the Victorian readers would not expect this ghost in a ghost story however the point of the ghost wasn't to scare the readers, but to communicate charitable values to the readers and to Scrooge. Whereas the ghost of Christmas yet to come can be seen as the most typical ghost because it carries a sorrowful ere around with itself. This may even be more surprising than the third ghost as after two progressively unconventional ghosts; Dickens returns to the most conformist image of a ghost imaginable. In conclusion, I think that the most effective ghost is the ghost of Christmas present due to the fact that in being shockingly different from the other ghosts, its message was carried clearly and profoundly to the reader. Although an original reader may disagree with me, as the ghost was too uncommon for the time; I think that it's outright defiance to the norm, would have alerted the reader to the ghost and would have helped put across the original meaning of Christmas. Robert Ankcorn English coursework ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE A Christmas Carol section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE A Christmas Carol essays

  1. Charles Dickens describes 'A Christmas carol' as 'a ghost story for Christmas.' In what ...

    It is a great giant, dressed in a green robe and surrounded by piles of food. This spirit shows Scrooge how his clerk's family, by strangers from all over and by his nephew, Fred, celebrates Christmas. The spirit carries a torch and everywhere it goes this torch sprinkles incense or

  2. How does Dickens use atmosphere and suspense to convey his moral message in 'A ...

    Suppose we make up a party and volunteer.' `I don't mind going if a lunch is provided,' observed the gentleman with the excrescence on his nose. `But I must be fed, if I make one.'" The man's attitude here is that he does not take Scrooge's death seriously and is

  1. Charles Dickens describes 'A Christmas Carol' as'a ghost story for Christmas' - In what ...

    straight into the story and gets going very quickly, which is typical of a ghost story opening. However, it has humour in it, which is an aspect you do not expect to find in a ghost story. It says, "What there is particularly dead about a doornail."

  2. Dicken Essay- How well does Dickens create the characters of his narrators? Refer to ...

    It suggests Old Cheeseman let him to see the entire play and spends some money on him. The narrator used informal language and some schoolboy's slang but no non Standard English or non-received pronunciation. For instance, "I am a Judas!", "and have it flogged all around."

  1. How does Scrooges character transform through his meetings with the ghosts in a Christmas ...

    Scrooge said "bah humbug" to he nephew. This shows how ungrateful and selfish he is. It also shows how unkind he was to his nephew. Scrooge said to his nephew 'keep Christmas in your own way and me keep it in mine'. This also shows that he is ungrateful.

  2. Christmas Carol Coursework

    If Scrooge changes he will have a chance of escaping from the chains. Dickens makes look Christmas enjoyable by introducing us to other people in the play who makes Christmas enjoyable. Fezzewing is one of the people who keep Christmas well, by having a Christmas spirit.

  1. How effectively and to what purpose does Dickens use the device of flashbacks and ...

    friend Marley who has appeared as a ghost visits him; this shocks Scrooge but eventually Marley tells Scrooge why he is being visited. Marley has come to tell Scrooge that he must change his ways otherwise he will end up like Marley and Marley tells Scrooge of his suffering in

  2. Dickens is trying to change Victorian society. How does he use the ghosts to ...

    Also the streets were incredibly narrow but at this night the fog is so thick you can't see the other side. In most books dark, foggy nights mean something is going to happen. Later Bob Crachitt try's to warm his hands on a candle but Scrooge stops him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work