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How Does Dickens use the Character of Scrooge to teach his readers Moral and Social Lessons?

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Introduction

How Does Dickens use the Character of Scrooge to teach his readers Moral and Social Lessons? Charles Dickens was born in Land port, near Portsmouth in 1812, the son of a clerk in the navy pay office. When he was twelve, his father was imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea prison and Dickens was put to work in the Warren's blacking factory, which made shoe polish. For most of his childhood he lived in poverty and supported his family as much as he could by working in the blacking warehouse, instead of going to school. This experience inspired much of his fiction in later life. Because of his poor upbringing, he was very sensitive to the plight of the poor. As an adult, Dickens wrote many popular and well received novels, which all contained an important moral or social message. Dickens felt that Victorian society was flawed and he wanted to change it for the better. Most of his books dealt with the issue of poverty, which was a huge crisis in the 1800's due to the Industrial Revolution. Dickens wrote these books to inform the rich on the appalling poverty in Britain. In A Christmas Carol, which was one of his most loved books he tries to encourage the rich to share their wealth and help the poor and ill. A Christmas Carol which was written in 1843 is an allegory, which would be read to children, but it has a deeper, moral meaning than it first appears. A Christmas Carol uses symbols like the ghosts to convey the message that Victorian people need to be more charitable to the poor. It also has staves instead of chapters, which are harmonies of music and this relates to the "Carol" in the title. ...read more.

Middle

Plus, he wants to feel those emotions again. Dickens shows some of Scrooge's emotions by these past events, for instance, "Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them...Why did his cold eye glisten, and his heart leap up as they went past!. Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each other Merry Christmas ...What good had it ever done him?" This again shows Scrooge does have emotions, as it reminded him of the high spirit he used to have at Christmas time. Scrooge looked up to those boys and saw them as he wanted to be at that age (his idol). Next, they went to Scrooge's old school and there was "A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still." It was Scrooge and he knew who it was, "And he sobbed" This emphasises that Scrooge does have feelings and maybe this neglect made him the way he is now. Then, they came to Scrooge's old home, where his younger self was being greeted by his sister, who was over the moon to see him and she loved him very much, "she died a woman, and had, as I think, children. One child, Scrooge returned ... Your nephew! Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind; and answered briefly, yes." This shows that he was thinking about the Christmas invite to his nephew's house, but how he turned him down in an unforgivable manner and all the unkind things he had said to him, he felt guilty. The ghost then takes him to visit his old employer Feeziwig, who was a cheerful and generous employer, for example he says: "No more work to-night. ...read more.

Conclusion

This biblical language is meant to make us aware that as readers we are being taught a moral lesson. All Christians believed strongly in heaven and hell; the thought of spending the rest of eternity in hell, frightened most Christians, so even the meanest of people would consider changing their ways to go to heaven. In stave five, Scrooge awakens on Christmas day as a changed man. He buys the largest turkey in town and donates it to the Cratchits. "I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's!" This shows that Scrooge has finally reformed and he is now a better man, as he is being a lot more generous. Dickens shows that Scrooge has learnt his moral lessons and is not going back to his old ways, he does this by this continual joy, care and generosity, throughout the character of Scrooge in stave five, for example: "Here's the turkey. Hallo! Whoop! How are you! Merry Christmas!" This again emphasises that Scrooge has realised and acknowledged his faults and changed them; plus he donates lots of money to the poor, Scrooge says, "... not a farthing less..." This once more shows Scrooge's generosity, the poor and the two gentlemen were very grateful. He also celebrates a lovely Christmas with his nephew; Dickens shows this by saying, "Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, won-der-ful happiness..." This stresses the changes Scrooge has made and that he is having a magnificent time with his family, at last. The next morning Scrooge was at his office ready to meet Bob Cratchit and give him a pay rise, he says "I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family..." And that's exactly what Scrooge did, he did not just raise Bob's salary, but he became like a second father to Tiny Tim, who did not die. ...read more.

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