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How does Charles Dickens manipulate readers feeling about Ebenezer Scrooge throughout the Christmas Carol?

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Introduction

A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens (1812-70). Q: How does Charles Dickens manipulate readers feeling about Ebenezer Scrooge throughout the Christmas Carol? Charles Dickens is well known for his host of distinctively cruel, comic and repugnant novels; he remains the most widely read of Victorian novelists. He was born in Portsmouth in 1812 and was the second child of a clerk in the navy pay-office. His childhood was not a happy one. As in 1824 his father was imprisoned. Dickens got sent to work in a blacking warehouse. Memories of his childhood especially of this event haunted him for the rest of his life. His parents failed to educate him. But Dickens worked hard, building his way up to writing novels. Before he wrote novels, he had several jobs, which were being a clerk in a solicitor's office, then, a reporter of parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle. His suffering and brutal childhood led him to write novels on social justice such as "A Christmas Carol" and "Oliver Twist". His novel A Christmas Carol (written in the 1843) is based on social realism. Dickens defines society ignorant and unfair towards the cause of poverty at that particular time. He tells us how poor people were hated and looked down upon. Young children had to work in warehouses so that they can support their families: In "A Christmas Carol" he uses the example of Cratchit's daughter. In 1834, the the Poor Law Amendment Act was passed. The act stated that no able-bodied person was to receive money or other help from the Poor Law authorities except in a workhouse. It also stated that the conditions in workhouses were to be made very harsh to discourage people from wanting to receive help. Workhouses were the only place offered to destitute people to live in, which was often no better than a prison. Poor people had to eat gruel at all time. ...read more.

Middle

You would not expect a normal person to have red eyes unless they are evil thus giving Scrooge a negative personality. The use of multicolour e.g. "blue lips"," red eye" makes Scrooge sound like a cartoonish character and this makes him seem ridiculous. In stave two and three Dickens reveals Scrooge's past by saying how he was left on his own at Christmas day also that his father didn't want him. This explains to us why he hates Christmas now, this statement about his past makes us readers pity him. Dickens intention here is to make us empathise with Scrooge. He does this by revealing his past life, showing us how it's affecting him now. When every one else goes home, "... a lonely boy was reading... Scrooge sat down upon a form, and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be." The word "wept" comes to us as a shock as we would have never imagined the 'evil' Scrooge have any such emotions. The fact that Scrooge "wept" shows him more as a real person. Some one we can relate to, as we all have cried at some point in our lives. The word "forgotten" suggest to us that Scrooge was very lonely in his childhood. What Dickens reveals of Scrooge's past enables us to feel sorry for him and understand why he is the man he has become. We feel frustrated when Scrooge lets his girlfriend dump him, "may you be happy in the life you have chosen", from this moment and onwards it seems like Scrooge has lost his happy life. This event helps us to understand why Scrooge is the way he is, e.g. grumpy, as he has lost the love of his life. The warning that the ghost of Christmas present gives Scrooge was: "Beware them both" meaning that he's being ignorant and greedy. He does this by showing two skinny, bony and innocent children, one which represents "ignorance", who's very skinny that his hands looks like a "claw" the other representing "Want" as she wants food and shelter to survive. ...read more.

Conclusion

or might be", the use of "may be" shows us that Scrooge wants to change. Already we can tell that Scrooge is scared but is determined to change for good. "I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year", the use of "I will" shows that he is definitely determined. The quote: "keep it all year" shows that he'll give charity all year not just only on Christmas day. The contrast that has been used manipulates the readers, and makes them like Scrooge firmly, as Scrooge was saying the opposite to this in the beginning of the novel, which made us dislike him. We are manipulated into liking Scrooge, as he is becoming what the write wants him to be and therefore fulfilling his intention, which is to treat destitute people with respect and care for them just like you would care other people, his intention is to change us as well. Serious sounding biblical language is used to scare Scrooge and the readers; gives us an idea of how important it is for Scrooge to change. In conclusion, Dickens has been successful in creating a real character that we can believe in and care for. We believe in this change because Scrooge has been changed through his own experience. Scrooge was a good character from the start but he was very ignorant and greedy with his money, he thought he knew about poor people but he didn't. The message behind this novel is to never treat destitute people badly as they have a heart too; they are normal human beings. There's an old saying that what goes up must come down. This was shown to Scrooge in the future by the ghost "Christmas yet to come". However this novel also shows that ignorant people learn through their mistakes, and experiences. The last message probably is always be nice and friendly with people and take care of them and this will keep you happy in the long term, as they would do the same for you in return. ...read more.

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