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How Does Dickens portray the Three Spirits in A Christmas Carol? What would they represent to Victorians?

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Introduction

In the Classic Novel 'A Christmas Carol' Charles Dickens describes three spirits who visit the character Ebenezer Scrooge. The three spirits are: Christmas past, Christmas Present and Christmas yet to come. Scrooge sees visions and is shown the joys if his youth, reminded of his present responsibilities, and warned of the consequences of his meanness. This results in Scrooge reforming into a changed man. This essay will examine inspect the three different spirits and what they represented to the Victorians. The First Spirit, the ghost of Christmas past is described as an 'unearthly visitor' a strange figure like a child, and 'yet not so like a child as like an old man.' This makes the spirit so much more unusual and means that the physical appearance is that of a young man, yet he is from the past and so viewed through a 'supernatural medium' or an 'unknown substance.' The spirits voice is also described as unusual, 'soft, gentle and singularly low' and 'as if from a distance' this also represents his being from the past. The spirit is described to have a clear jet of light from his head which scrooge wants to cover. ...read more.

Middle

With bare feet and a large protecting green robe. This showed that the spirit is close to Nature and Natural, it also shows us that nothing about him is false, he is very truthful and the Victorians would value these qualities. Dark brown curls, pleasant, cheerful face, sparkling eyes, cheery voice and honest are all words which the author uses to describe this particular spirit. The spirit is also described to be holding an empty sword holder, this represents the spirit is not into violence. Once scrooge steps into the room, it has been transformed, full of food, light and colour representing a celebration, Victorians would see this as having good will to all men. With everything being expensive and lush it almost shows the spirit going to excess. The spirit then says to scrooge 'come in and know me better' this again commands attention and shows the ghost is slightly pushy and won't be ignored. The spirit goes on to show the Christmas at present, it shows him how the poor contend with difficulties and manage. The spirit then sprinkles incense on people if they argued, for Christmas spirit and hope and restoring their goodwill towards each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Charles Dickens portrayed the Three Spirits of Christmas as examples and warnings to the Victorians. As Scrooge is reminded that he has a responsibility to help others in society, the Victorians would understand this message as a reminder to do the same. Scrooge is warned that if he continues being interested only in money, he will die a lonely and hated man. The Spirit of Christmas yet to come also reminds Scrooge that he will be punished for his meanness in the next life. Victorians strongly believed that what they did in this life would be punished or rewarded in the next. They would understand the message that they must live a 'God-Fearing life' if they were to be rewarded after death. The final message to Victorians is that it is never too late to change. Scrooge sees the error of his ways and becomes a changed man, generous and happy to be amongst others. Victorians wanted to improve people and society and they would understand the message that everyone can change for the better. Alex Lilley How Does Dickens portray the Three Spirits in 'A Christmas Carol?' What would they represent to Victorians? Alex Lilley How Does Dickens portray the Three Spirits in 'A Christmas Carol?' What would they represent to Victorians? ...read more.

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