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

How does Dickens present the Lower Classes in 'A Christmas Carol'?

Extracts from this document...


Sacred Heart Catholic High School Liverpool Road Merseyside Centre Number: 34631 Name: Laura Bowes Date: October/November 2002 Title: How does Dickens present the Lower Classes in 'A Christmas Carol'? Stimulus: Introduction to text Teacher plan Charles Dickens wrote his novels during the Victorian times. Britain was a harsh place at this time with the upper and lower classes being clearly separated. Dickens himself grew up as part of the lower classes, and so he knew what it was like. It was very hard for the poor to survive, many of them having no alternative but to go into the workhouses. This seemed to be the worst place to end up, as many people would rather have died than gone into the workhouses. When people went to the workhouses, they were separated from their families, forced to work long hours and hardly fed at all. The workhouse system was the upper classes solution to poverty, but it did not help at all. The lower classes were still living very hard lives. Dickens published 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843 to try to bring the lower classes hard lives to the attention of people who could do something about it; the upper classes. ...read more.


The way they acted about the goose would have made you think that it was 'the rarest of all birds'. We can see that they are excited about having goose for dinner, probably because they were not used to eating meat, as they probably could not afford it. In a way, it could be seen as the way in which the family came together at Christmas and looked forward to it because it was a chance for them to have a reasonably expensive meal and appreciate it, as it did not happen everyday. Through the Cratchit family, Dickens also tries to show that although the upper classes may think that the lower classes are insignificant, and that it would be better if some of them died to decrease the huge population, but if they actually saw a family in which someone was dying through being poor, they would quickly change their minds. He shows this when Scrooge sees Tiny Tim (Bob Cratchits son, who is a cripple) and is told that he will probably die soon. Scrooge instantly tries to ask the ghost if the boy will be spared, but the ghost quotes what Scrooge said when he was asked to give money to the poor: 'If he be like to die, he better do it, and decrease the surplus population'. ...read more.


people are not that different and have the same reactions towards poverty and wealth; the two extremes. These streets contrast dramatically to the streets shown by the 'Ghost of Christmas Present'. I think that Dickens is also trying to make people think that if they do not change their ways, then the poor people who still have some dignity, who were shown by the 'Ghost of Christmas Present', will also eventually become so desperate, that the seedy, dirty London that is shown by the 'Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come' is what the whole city will end up like. Dickens presents the lower classes realistically; he does not try to make out that all poor people are kind hearted. He tries to make the upper classes realise that the situation of the poor can only get better if they do something to help. He also tries to make the reader feel concerned about Tiny Tim and show the upper classes that they can help; when Tiny Tim is mentioned, it is almost like a personal appeal to the reader to help someone in need. Dickens presents the lower classes effectively and this is probably why the book is still very popular today. ...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. A Christmas Carol - Marley's Ghost.

    'Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, Jacob?' he demanded in a faltering voice. 'It is.' 'I - I think I'd rather not,' said Scrooge. 'Without their visits,' said the Ghost, 'you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first tomorrow when the bell tolls One.'

  2. The novel 'A Christmas Carol', by Charles

    The first spirit, the spirit of Christmas past and the second spirit of Christmas present are both associated with light. As soon as the first spirit appears, Scrooge's bed curtains are drawn and there is a flash of light. 'It wore a tunic of the purest white' The second spirit is also associated with light.

  1. Show how Dickens presents the change in Scrooge's view of life and death. Look ...

    Next we see Scrooge as Mr. Fezziwig's apprentice. It is Christmas Eve and both Scrooge and the other apprentice Dick Wilkins are told to get the warehouse ready for a party. Everyone is welcome at Fezziwig's ball, and the young Scrooge enjoys it immensely.

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

    disconcerting habit of looking hard of the person he addresses before actually speaking," also gives the impression that he knows, hopefully as well as the audience, how ignorant and wrong the family is. The inspector speaks to each of them: "gravely," "dryly," "slowly," "steadily," "plainly," "coolly," "with authority," "massively," and "sharply," which builds up a moralising tone.

  1. Dickens is trying to change Victorian society. How does he use the ghosts to ...

    Dickens knew that many employers took too much and gave too little, and in his writing he tries to emphasise this by making Scrooge's treatment of Cratchitt very harsh so they can see their own wrongdoings in a much clearer way.

  2. Please don't use the computer will be back soon

    On Christmas Eve as Cratchit was getting ready to leave Scrooge exclaimed in an accusing accusation manner that Cratchit would be wanting Christmas off "I suppose . . ." which Cratchit replayed to as politely as possible that indeed he would be wanting Christmas off.

  1. How effectively and to what purpose does Dickens use the device of flashbacks and ...

    When will you come to see me?' No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what is was o'clock." Not only was Scrooge walking under a thundercloud but also there was the aspect of what others felt about him. Another thing that I could see from reading the first few pages of "A

  2. How does Dickens reflect the importance of the classes in his time?

    Could this be a further reflection on the importance of the classes? That the further up the class ladder you got the more isolated you became? That night Scrooge was about to experience the warning to the terrifying ordeal, but before that he consents, grudgingly, to give his clerk the

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