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

Examine how dickens uses the supernatural as a vehicle for change in 'A Christmas Carol'. In your response analyse Marley's ghost and one other haunting. Consider theme, language and dramatic devices.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine how dickens uses the supernatural as a vehicle for change in 'A Christmas Carol'. In your response analyse Marley's ghost and one other haunting. Consider theme, language and dramatic devices. A Christmas Carol is built upon numerous contrasts: rich and poor, family and loneliness, generosity and miserliness, affection and cruelty, past, present and future. Most of these contrasting forces are brought to light within the character of Scrooge himself. The compulsive, lonely, miserly man, who eats his abstemious meals in the shadows, emerges from his cold-heartedness into a generous, fun loving, warm and caring man. Dickens uses a lot of rich contrasting imagery within the character Scrooge to prepare the reader for his conversion well before the concluding chapter. Though there are many elements that led to Charles Dickens writing a Christmas Carol, for example the Ragged Schools, the Manchester athenaeum and Dickens' first-hand experiences with industrialism and prison on his recent American tour, I feel that the single most important and influential factor lay in Dickens observations of the suffering, deep in the heart of London's poor, that children were being seduced to. It has been said by many at the time that sex was the only affordable pleasure for the poor, the result of course was thousands of children living in unimaginable poverty, filth and disease. Dickens' felt that the only answer to breaking the endless cycle of poverty was education and so he became interested in Ragged Schools. Ragged schools were free to attend and run through charity, this gave even the poorest of children a glimpse of hope to break the cycle. Despite the availability of these schools, a lot of poor children did not benefit due to the demand for child labour and apathy of parents. Dickens introduces children like those that he saw in a Christmas Carol through the allegorical twin, ignorance and want. The ghost of Christmas present presents them, wretched and almost animal like, to scrooge with the warning "this boy is Ignorance. ...read more.

Middle

However Dickens was ultimately writing a Christmas novella and does not want to totally terrify his readers, Dickens wanted to get his message across which was to treat others kindly and with respect no matter which class they were in. We see Dickens weaving in little bits of humour to uplift the reader's spirits and relieve the tension that has already built up. After being told the appearance of the ghost was transparent we then hear "Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels, but he had never believed it until now." The lack of this certain internal; organ is meant to make the reader laugh making the story more palatable. In spite of some humorous touches Marley presence is suppose to have a serious message for Scrooge and an impact on all of the readers. Dickens wants to make it clear to everyone that Marley lives in torment because of the way he lived his life, he is trying to make people change there ways with certain subtle well chosen words. He also shows people how they may be tormented in the afterlife, which Victorians were very curious about, as for Marley's selfishness in life he is now "doomed to wander through the world - oh, woe is me! And witness what I cannot share, but might have shared on earth." This is not Marley's only outburst. Dickens really wants to hammer home his message about Marley's agony due to his own lifestyle, "Business... Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all, my business." In conclusion I think the reason for Dickens using Marley as the first ghost is for the shock of Scrooge seeing his business partner so unhappy after his life has ended. This obviously has a massive impact upon him as he is so scared to witness the other ghosts oncoming. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience will of course relate to this as most peoples worst fear is people not missing them when they die, this causes people to look at themselves and change for the better. The spirits all have there own affect on Scrooge, the spirit of Christmas past makes Scrooge regret that past, the spirit of Christmas present makes Scrooge realise the importance of Christmas and how to celebrate it blissfully, and finally the spirit of Christmas still to come makes sure Scrooge is too scared to revert back to his old ways. The main lesson learnt by Scrooge is that he should be nice to everyone no matter what day it is, people that are less well off than him need his help. Other lessons that he learns are that being heartless, selfish and greedy has no rewards and that no one will be there to mourn you death. Also that he should enjoy his money and share with others because money will control you head and leave your heart in the shadows as Scrooge's was for so long. I believe that the novella is still popular in today's times as it brings to light all the joys and happiness that everyone likes to feel at Christmas. Also it helps that the novella was very well written and that it still creates all the emotions it was written to create in modern people. Dickens engages all readers of all ages as he based all of his character on human charactistics which then makes the novella an allegory for human behaviour. After reading this novella every person looks at them selves through an imaginary mirror and thinks about what they can change for the better within themselves, this is another reason I think the novella is so popular. I do believe that Dickens "little Carol" as it was first known will carry on through generations and there will probably be another girl sat at her computer in 50 years time writing about its success and message. ...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. Explore how Dickens makes his readers aware of poverty in A Christmas Carol.

    Dickens tries to portray to the reader that if people, whether individual or as a group, do not help the less fortunate during life they will forever suffer the consequences. "The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever."

  2. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Priestley’s An Inspector Calls have strong messages for the ...

    By using the words, "Heaven" and "God" Dickens brings religion into the passage which would have been very effective in getting his views across especially in the Victorian era; "that in the sight of Heaven," and "Oh God!" He uses capital letters in "What" and "Where" to emphasise Scrooge's words

  1. The Three Spirits in A Christmas Carol present the reader with a great variety ...

    At a later Christmas, Scrooge visits himself and his old sweetheart Belle, and watches in horror and sadness as he sees himself break off their engagement. Scrooge is also shown happy times, as he sees himself apprenticed to the kind and merry merchant Fezzywig.The Ghost of the Christmas Past shows

  2. A Christmas Carol - Marley's Ghost.

    'Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!' 'There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,' returned the nephew; 'Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round -

  1. Aim: How is the theme of redemption explored in A Christmas Carol

    His apartment is described as a 'gloomy suite of rooms' which are 'old' and 'dreary.' The wind gets stronger, the clock strikes and the disused bell rings. The door to his room flings open, Marley's ghost, dressed in chains, appears and stood in front of him.

  2. In what way is 'A Christmas Carol' an allegory? Explain how Dickens uses symbolism ...

    Bob Crachet is a worker for Scrooge and is dependant on him, even though Scrooge doesn't really care for him in the slightest. 'Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk's (Bob) fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal' this proves that Scrooge never cared for anyone not even his own employees.

  1. An essay on A Christmas Carol. I will discuss how Dickens uses different language ...

    It made Scrooge realise that he had been a selfish man and seeing the large Cratchit family struggling to feed everyone made him want to improve Bob Cratchits? work pay. When the charity men come to visit Scrooge at his workplace, they are pleasant, happy businessmen, and this contrasts well with Scrooge?s attitude of being a ?covetous old sinner?.

  2. Who or what is responsible for Scrooge's change of character in 'A Christmas Carol'?

    You're poor enough'. The fact that he experiences no reward from his life enables him to realise that in actual fact, having money does not necessarily result in a more contempt life, as his nephew whom is ?poor? is still ?merry? in contrast to Scrooge being completely emotionally bereft.

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