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Dickens Clearly Attempts to Influence our Lives in "A Christmas Carol". What Techniques does he use to do this?

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Introduction

Dickens Clearly Attempts to Influence our Lives in "A Christmas Carol". What Techniques does he use to do this? 'A Christmas Carol' is a Victorian tale that is loved by millions worldwide. It was written by Charles Dickens in 1843 and combines the harsh reality of poverty in Victorian times with the joy of Christmas and ghosts. The reason why we celebrate at Christmas is due to Charles Dickens himself, with food, parties and the festive spirit. The story also has a moral to it. It focuses around one man Ebenezer Scrooge and his greed for money, his hate for Christmas and a journey through past, present and future. Throughout the novel Charles Dickens uses a number of techniques to get across the message of poverty and differences in class and he aims to stimulate the reader's social conscience and draw attention to the plight of the poor in Victorian London. One of the main techniques that Dickens uses is to set the story around Christmas. Christmas is a time of happiness and celebration and Dickens emphasizes the merriness of this festive time by describing it as a 'joyous occasion'. Dickens goes into great detail when describing the feast that is had at Christmas using phrases like its 'tenderness and flavor' and 'there never was such a goose'. ...read more.

Middle

The 'ledgers' and 'deeds' show the detailed accounts of money and proper ownership and this is a symbol that everything has to be accounted for, no money can pass by the scrutiny of the accountant which is so true to Scrooge's life. Apart from being immensely weighted down by his possessions of greed which held back his life, Marley was transparent. This was so obvious that Scrooge could see the two buttons on the back of his coat. This transparency conveys the sense that this person was never a normal human; he was a chilling figure who lacked some human qualities that most usual persons have. This is a ghost which freezes the presence around him with his 'death cold eyes' and his 'chilling influence', he is cold, like his life. He has no real substance and the only apparent clear images Scrooge can see of this spirit are the symbols of hoarding, selfishness and greed. The 'Ghost of Christmas Past' reveals itself to Scrooge, shortly after the affair with Marley and the purpose of this ghost is to show Scrooge of the times of his past life which involve his school and family life as well as his past relationships. The first line of the description portrays excellently the appearance of this unusual spirit: 'It was a strange figure - like a child; yet not so like a child as like an old man'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The description continues, with Dickens using metaphorical speech to describe the ghoul: 'but a spectral hand and one great heap of black'. The effect of the metaphor is once more of absolute fear and terror. The description ends with Scrooge requesting speech from the ghoul but it is not going to respond which rounds off the passage with a feeling of fear. Dickens shows skill in describing these ghosts so relevantly to what there immediate purpose is. Each ghost has its own specific meaning and Dickens presents this effectively giving each spirit a unique appearance which tells a story with a true moral which still applies today. Dickens is a storyteller with unique gifts and this is shown in these descriptions of the four spirits. Another technique Dickens uses is having Scrooges nephew be a cripple, Tiny Tim is deliberately sentimental to get an emotive response. The audience has great feelings for Tiny Tim and that is shown especially near the end of the book when 'the ghost of Christmas yet To Come' returns Scrooge to the house, all he sees is an empty chair and a crutch. This upsets the reader because we have become attached to Tiny Tim and his plight. The description conveys him as an ill child and we are naturally sympathetic towards this. . ...read more.

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