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

Dickens is trying to change Victorian society. How does he use the ghosts to do this is 'A Christmas Carol'

Extracts from this document...


Dickens is trying to change Victorian society. How does he use the ghosts to do this is 'A Christmas Carol' 'A Christmas Carol' which was written by Charles Dickens in 1843, during a rich period with economic, political, and cultural change. The book is set in London England and reflects several aspects of historical events in that time period. Dickens describes vividly what life was like at this time and place; he portrays the major contrast between the life styles of the poor and the wealthy. I can see clearly that he was extremely concerned about the poor people who lived at this time. He uses three ghosts to portray three important moral lessons which are made more significant because they are set within the Christmas season where goodwill and generosity to others are expected. This is helped by the staves; Dickens is trying to create a joyful feel like that created in music. Scrooge in Stave 1 is described in great detail. "Hard as flint from which no steel struck". From these few words you can easily see that he is a cold hearted man Scrooge is. It goes on to say "No warmth could warm him, no wintry weather chilled him", this goes on. He is alone in this world, his heart have frozen solid and has been frozen for a long time. ...read more.


During this stave the light has been getting brighter and bigger. Scrooge notices this and quickly sets off the fire extinguisher, putting out the light. Showing he does not want to learn anymore. Dickens uses the second ghost (the ghost of Christmas present) to show Scrooge that love is everywhere. They might not be rich, but they have things what bring far greater pleasure. The room with the ghost in has been transformed. "Every inch had been covered in fresh food and Christmas traditions. This gave another Victorian tradition Dickens must want us to know what Christmas was like. "Garment hung so loosely on the figure" Dickens carries on describing the ghost and the ghost also has traditional clothing. This is showing us that this ghost is very traditional. "Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard, but no sword was it". This is now representing Victorian history, during there reign they never battled they had along peaceful reign. The sword is a symbol of fighting and as it has rusted it shows it has never been used. As the spirit raised Scrooge sad "Conduct me where you will". He talks about that last night he had learnt a lesson. Now Scrooge wants to go with the ghost he is not resisting, he wants to learn. The ghost took him to Christmas day all around him were people and traditional Christmas things like mistletoe. ...read more.


A 'Christmas Carol' makes a serious plea for generosity. For Dickens, Christmas is essentially a holiday but one that, behind all the laughter and festivities, should bring out the best of human nature. To try and show this to the Victorian society Dickens contradicted it so instead of writing the book from the rich perspective, he did it from the poor. This really showed the true realities of life for the poor and how tough life was at this time in history. Dickens did this through the character of Scrooge by using the ghosts he offers concrete proof of how distorted a selfish person can become. Therefore the book is trying the change the way in which the Victorian society thought and acted. Dickens used the ghosts very effectively, as they highlighted the different sides of Christmas. They showed and portrayed what life was like for the poor and that money is just an extension of you, don't be consumed by it. You get more pleasure by giving than receiving. By Dickens writing this maybe the point of the story is to criticise the financial direction of Industrialising British society in the 1840's. The two spirits ignorance and want being two somewhat reminders of the horrendous social inequalities and conditions that the poor were flung into during this time. The book may have encouraged the poor people to be saved from the work houses, and be treated better. As a result changing the Victorian society's mentalities and attitudes towards the poor. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. A Christmas Carol - Marley's Ghost.

    the multitude,' returned the gentleman, 'a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.

  2. A Christmas carol by Charles Dickens-what do we learn about the conditions of the ...

    He uses a long list of words to create the effect that Scrooge has many sins that cannot be diminished easily: 'A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!', these lists of words are especially effective because they all describe Scrooge's personality as greedy and selfishness; only caring for himself.

  1. The novel 'A Christmas Carol', by Charles

    It symbolises he can see the people around him and is more charitable and caring. He no longer lacks company. It is a light day outside, which shows he has been enlightened and is aware of which path to take.

  2. What have you learnt about Victorian society from your reading of Dickenss novel A ...

    Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us." Here the spirit is saying that the Church and the upper classes were doing things and saying that they were in benefit of the people, when however, they were benefiting only themselves.

  1. Scrooge makes a moral journey in Dickens A Christmas Carol. Examine the development of ...

    You can tell that the moral journey and change is done in stave 5 when scrooge kindly buys Cratchit and his family the biggest turkey in the store and he gives Bob Cratchit a raise. At this point in the novel scrooge seems and acts much happier and the people around him do as well.

  2. Compare the descriptions of the four ghosts in A Christmas Carol. Which do you ...

    This occurs when he writes, 'unearthly visitor'. One interpretation of this is that the word, 'unearthly', gives the impression that it doesn't belong on earth and is not a typical creature. This adds to the idea of a typical ghost however, a subtle implication strays from the stereotype.

  1. How does Dickens explore the possibility of change in A Christmas Carol?

    Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action'. This indicates that Scrooge wants to be left alone so that he will continue working and also he doesn't like children and scares them away with anger. Overall, I think that it is important for us to feel so negative towards Scrooge at this point in the novel because later

  2. How does Dickens explore the theme of social responsibility in Victorian England?

    himself and his money, he cares of others and helping others:- "And therefore uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good". This shows Fred's view of Christmas, he would rather have a good time with others, rather than make money from it.

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