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From reading 'A Christmas Carol' I have discovered many things about Victorian London, Dickens and the dramatic personality change in Scrooge over the two-day period.

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Introduction

"A Christmas Carol" From reading 'A Christmas Carol' I have discovered many things about Victorian London, Dickens and the dramatic personality change in Scrooge over the two-day period. I am going to write about the interesting ideas I have depicted from the story involving Scrooge, Victorian London and Dickens. How does Scrooge change over the 2 days? Scrooge begins the story as a cold, heartless mean with no compassion or sentiment; "External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him." We adapt a negative opinion of Scrooge from the start. He is a typical miser and a cynic, and constantly refrains by saying "Humbug." Scrooge sees everything to do with Christmas as a trick; this is why he is constantly replying with "Humbug." He sees the world as a "World of Fools." This was bought about by St. Paul; he said 'it is necessary to be fool in order to be wise.' He hates Christmas and refuses to give any portion of his wealth to the needy and less fortunate. He is a capitalist and a businessman who is anti-life; when asked if he would give some money to the poor for Christmas, and is told if they did not receive the money they might die, he replies "if they would rather die they had better do it and, decrease the surplus population" Scrooge turns everything that is good on its head. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens describes him as "fluttered and glowing with good intentions." He gives a huge turkey to the Cratchits and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, the reverse to what he was like before. Scrooge even promises a huge amount of money to the Charity man; he is a changed man. He has a total change in his personality; he even plays a joke on Bob pretending to be miserly and then lights a large fire and helps Tiny Tim. Scrooge loses respect from his colleagues after using most of his money on charities. What picture do we get of Victorian London? We get a vivid description of Victorian London and the customs practiced in London during the 19th Century. Poverty is widespread, being of the middle class is popular and a small population holds the large potion of wealth. Social class dictates life and there is seldom movement within the classes basically everyone is out for themselves. Dickens gives a classical description of the London streets. There was no tinsel, but lots of greenery. All the shops were open until lunchtime on Christmas Day, because servants had to work to prepare Christmas lunch, Bakers, for example, worked a half-day on Christmas day cooking the Goose. From Dickens descriptions it was a strongly Christian society. No one would marry young, it was thought that you had to live life first and then marry. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reason for this strong message was because of Dickens' own background. He lived in poverty (like the Crachit's) and he was sent to the blacking factory whilst his family went to the debtor's prison. He starts the story with "Once upon a time..." making it feel like a fairy tale but also being very accurate. He has great presence in his writing, he is almost writing a moral fable. He chats with his audience creating a humorous relationship between himself and his audience. Dickens also veers from the main story line and goes into tangents of a philosophical or descriptive nature, which I feel reflects his thoughts while writing the book. He ends the story with a reference to God, "God Bless us everyone," this may or may not be a reflection on Dickens believes but it did obviously have some significance otherwise he would not have ended the story in this way. The Moral of the book is Christmas is the symbol of everything that is good. Which is what Dickens wanted to promote, involving his idealisation of Christmas being about children. Dickens changed the meaning of Christmas to what we know it as today. In 1815, Christmas was not an important event for children. Jane Austen writes about a couple going to stay with relatives for Christmas, she obviously saw Christmas as not being an important time for children, which in 1815 it was not. However, Dickens soon changed this and Christmas today is now centred about children, which is what Dickens wanted to achieve. 1 ...read more.

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