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"Dickens had intended through a stirring and entertaining tale, to awaken his readers' minds and hearts to the suffering of the poor." Did he succeed?

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Introduction

"Dickens had intended through a stirring and entertaining tale, to awaken his readers' minds and hearts to the suffering of the poor." Did he succeed? Dickens's concern in 'A Christmas Carol' was to make his reading public aware of the very real abuses in society. When Dickens wrote 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843 the terrible plight of the poor seemed unnoticed by many educated people so Dickens knew that a stirring tale would be more effective in pointing out the evils in society than a dull, worthy tract. I intend to prove that Dickens had intended to awaken his readers' minds and hearts and show them the suffering of the poor through a stirring and entertaining tale. Dickens knew that it was useless to write a mere polemic. The readers must be entertained, amused, enthralled and moved. He planned a Christmas book because ghost stories were traditional at Christmas and also, because the new German way of celebrating Christmas emphasized present giving and concern for children. Middle class Victorian Children were considered very precious and were much sheltered from the realness of life. ...read more.

Middle

Hours were often very long with very little pay. Dickens wanted to encourage the rich to help the poor and wrote the story so that you would side the poor. He is showing you what the spirit of Christmas should be like. Dickens is concerned to show how self-serving, insensitive people can be converted into charitable compassionate people through lessons. In 'A Christmas Carol' when Scrooge is with the second spirit Dickens writes about the Christmas Dinner at the Cratchit's house. "Then up rose Mrs Cratchit, Cratchit's wife dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence;" (p.67). As you can see from the above quotation they are poor but proud. They live in a tiny house. Notice how Dickens uses the words 'brave' ("brave in ribbons") and 'cheap' ("which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence") to show and to give a point. This relates to my question because it is an entertaining section of the book but at the same time Dickens awakens his reader's minds to the life and suffering of the poor. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dickens is anxious to give other children the childhood he had. When the third spirit came he took Scrooge outside and this is what it was like: "Quiet and dark, beside him stood the Phantom, with its outstretched hand. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest, he fancied from the turn of his hand, and its situation in reference to himself, that the Unseen Eyes were looking at him keenly. It made him shudder, and feel very cold." As you can see this long quotation describes all of London at that time. This shows you the corrupting power of money and nature of capitalism. This is the life of the poor families who can just about afford dinner on the table and shabby second hand clothes. 'A Christmas Carol' is a story of moral redemption. Scrooge made the readers ware of the conditions of the poor indirectly. He never says that there were poor people lining the street, he always describes them as vulnerable and sympathises with them. The ghosts in the story serve to make the story more palatable. As ghosts are fictitious, it helps to make the story less believable, and more enjoyable. Omar Shahid 10H GCSE Coursework ...read more.

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