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How does Charles Dickens make A Christmas Carol(TM) an appealing Christmas story for its 19thC readers?

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Introduction

How does Charles Dickens make 'A Christmas Carol' an appealing Christmas story for its 19thC readers? Charles Dickens had been a philanthropist; he wanted to raise awareness about the plight of the poor, especially poor children. Dickens had set to challenge his readers to be charitable to the poor at Christmas time, as well as make the book appeal to them. 'I have endeavoured in this ghostly little book, to raise the ghost of an idea which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves.' Dickens was a creative man who understood the seemingly uncaring nature of the 19thC wealthy elite. Knowing this he realised that more people would pay attention to the horrendous conditions of the poor if he wrote them in a story. A Christmas Carol was published on 17th December 1843. The title of the story implies that the focus is on Christmas and religious values and morals. This would appeal to the wealthier educated person as they would be able to read, and would feel the story would enhance their enjoyment of the Christmas period. ...read more.

Middle

It had been written to challenge the moral conscience of the wealthy people of the 19thC and the Government through the character of Scrooge and his attitude. Scrooges' attitude was that of a typical wealthy business man who believed the poor had nothing to do with him and that Government issued help was enough. When asked to make a donation for the poor Scrooge replied "are there no... Union workhouses?" to which he was told the poor would rather die then go to. He then voiced the opinion of many wealthy people with "If they would rather die, they had better do it and decrease the surplus population." Dickens enlightens his readers to what repercussions could take place from their actions through Scrooges own journey. Scrooges' 3 spirits enlighten him and guide a path for him that will change his and all affected by his actions, future. The story shows the extremities of suffering endured by poor children in 19thC London. In Stave III the ghost of Christmas present, presents two children named Ignorance, the boy, and Want, the girl. ...read more.

Conclusion

Joining this message with the spirit of Christmas enabled Dickens to show people exactly how they could help at Christmas time and all year round. The structure of the story centers on Christmas and celebrations which would appeal to the 19thC reader. As Christmas was a time for happy endings, good tidings and joviality the 19thC reader would expect as much from a Christmas story. The fact that it was written in five separate staves allowed the readers to become enthralled in the story then leave them wanting more. Not only does this story challenge the readers' perspectives on the poor it also brings out all the good things about Christmas. I think this story would appeal to a modern audience because it has some of the basic elements modern audience look for; history, macabre, and a happy ending. However the story would have appealed more to the 19thC reader as it written in archaic English and it is written for a 19thC reader who would have a different education and different lifestyle to that of modern day. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rochelle Findley 11L Mrs Penn 1 ...read more.

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