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How does Dickens' use of symbolism contribute to the themes of

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Jonathan Richards How does Dickens' use of symbolism contribute to the themes of "A Christmas Carol"? Charles Dickens wrote a large number of novels but this particular novella was very popular as it told the story of a typical Christmas in Victorian times. The word 'Scrooge' derives from the character Scrooge in this novella, which proves that Dickens' story really did make an impact on the reading public. In 'A Christmas Carol' there are three main themes that would have been influenced by the times when Dickens was writing, the themes are: Poverty, ignorance and happiness (Christmas spirit). In the following paragraphs I am going to study the themes and see what symbolism is used. I am going to write about the symbols as I go through the novella. The counting house is an example as it symbolises slave labour with its dreadful conditions. Also this is where we first learn how mean Scrooge is when two charity workers come into the counting house asking for money, but Scrooge refuses to give the gentlemen anything, saying that he helps the poor already through supporting prisons and workhouses. This symbolises ignorance, as Scrooge does not even want to listen to what the men have to say. ...read more.


This symbolises the happiness felt for other people when Christmas comes around. Scrooge also tells us how Mr Fezziwig has the power to make people feel happy or unhappy. Scrooge has the same power but he and Fezziwig use it in opposite ways. The next use of symbolism is when Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, a giant, surrounded by food. This symbolises the greed that Scrooge has. This spirit takes Scrooge to the Cratchits house where he sees how, even though they have little food for the family of eight, they can still have a happy Christmas, again symbolising happiness. Even though Tiny Tim is a cripple he still manages to have a merry Christmas, which brings the whole family hope. When Scrooge sees Tiny Tim he feels sorry for the family and asks the spirit if Tiny Tim will die and the spirit tells Scrooge that he will die, unless something changes. When Scrooge protests he remembers when he said, "If he be like to die he had better do it and decrease the surplus population." I think this is the moment when Scrooge realizes what he has done. The next place the spirit takes Scrooge is to his nephew's party where Scrooge hears him say that he should not be despised but pitied, as "his money does not do him much good." ...read more.


He tells the boy to go and get the biggest turkey he can find and send it to the Cratchits, while the charity collector whom he turned away was surprised when he donated money to charity. This symbolises happiness and the Christmas spirit as Scrooge has seen the error of his ways and now is trying to make a fresh start. Scrooge then goes to Fred's Christmas party and enjoys himself immensely. When Bob Cratchit turned up for work on Boxing Day Scrooge tells him that he will "not stand for this any longer" and tells him that he needs a pay rise. This is obviously a joke as Scrooge is overwhelmed with happiness and can't help, but give Bob a pay rise but makes it look like he is extremely angry with him. In conclusion I have to say that each stave has its own particular symbol and this helps to contribute to the themes. This book would reflect on Dickens own life as he spent a lot of his time surrounded by poor people and shows that Dickens thought that poor people should be treated a lot better. In my opinion the main theme of this novella is that you should not take for granted what you have, because there are people like the Cratchits living in poor conditions who are much worse off then yourself. ...read more.

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