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

How does Dickens use the character of Scrooge to teach his readers, old and young, his moral and social lessons?

Extracts from this document...


How does Dickens use the character of Scrooge to teach his readers, old and young, his moral and social lessons? Charles Dickens is the author of A Christmas Carol. He came from a less privileged background of debt as his father had to work in a debtor's prison. Eager to get his father out of prison, he worked hard to earn money to end his fathers debt. Charles Dickens had chosen to write the book at Christmas, because it was a time of giving and celebration, yet there were many people at this time who weren't as fortunate - people who were poorer. Many of the poor worked in various places such as the workhouses under the poor law, and the people who managed the poor took advantage and made lots of money out of them. Dickens has written this story for two audiences, the first is for the entertainment of children, and the book would be read to them by the second audience - the adults. Society back then was much harsher - Dickens was angry in the way people were suffering, and it gave Dickens inspiration to write this book in the hope that it could improve society. The book is set in 1843 and the main character or caricature is Scrooge. Because he is a caricature, we have to suspend our disbelief in order to understand fully what Dickens is doing with Scrooge in wider detail. In the book, Scrooge, a greedy middle class businessmen gets visited by spirits who open his eyes to the true world were poverty and misery exist. Dickens has made this story into an allegory - where the moral is more important than the story. Charles Dickens aims to write this book with a theme of social harmony - where society is more equal and everyone is socially happy. Dickens has written A Christmas Carol in 'staves' and just like a carol, it has a musical theme, and a theme of social harmony where everyone is united as one body. ...read more.


When everyone has left the scene, Scrooge is sad, and he says "I should be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now" - which shows how he is feeling sorry to Crachit because of the way he has been treating him - Scrooge is realising his mistakes and trying to learn from them. The Ghost then takes us a few years into the future, where Scrooge is sitting with his fianc�e, Belle. At the time, Scrooge was struggling with his business, and Belle was upset, - 'Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are' - because she realised that they could not get married - Scrooge had became more money-orientated. Belle said to Scrooge "It matters little. To you very little. Another idol has displaced me" - she says this because it shows Scrooge does not care about his love for Belle, also calling their relationship "an unprofitable dream" - Scrooge just cared about his money. Dickens shows to us a message that if put money first in life, you will receive no love. Scrooge is in an heartbroken state, revisiting painful memories of parting with his fianc�e. He says to the Spirit - "Spirit! Show me no more!... Why do you delight to torture me?... Remove me from this place" - which shows he doesn't want to relive the memories When Scrooge refers to the Spirits visit as "torture", it shows how Scrooge does not want to acknowledge these events really happened in his past (because of his immense suffering) - and the Spirit says to Scrooge "These are shadows of things that have been. They are what they are" - but in order for Scrooge to move on, he has to admit to these wrong doings and change for the better of society. The Ghost of Christmas past has shown what Scrooge has lost in his life - love, a relationship, family - and we can now empathise with him, and hope he changes. ...read more.


Dickens believed that the meaning of Christmas should be rediscovered - how Christmas is a time where people celebrate each others company, a time full of fun and laughter for all- however it seems that in the modern twenty-first century, we celebrate Christmas with gifts and presents, but it is more important to celebrate it because it is a time of fun and laughter, and value what we take for granted, such as family, and friends. There is a critical theory within the story, of how it contains characteristics of a Shakespearean tragedy. Dickens wrote this allegory in five acts, just like many of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, such as Macbeth or Julius Caesar. Aristotle, a great ancient Greek philosopher said that a tragedy has to consist of several unities. Aristotle's 'poetics' said there had to be a unity of i) Time - this story was based over one night. ii) Place - it was all in the same area iii) Character - the story was all based around Scrooge iv) Action - In the end, everything gets resolved. This could also be an inversion of a Shakespearean tragedy, as in the end the play ends on a light note. In this way, Dickens offers the reader hope to turn the events of a tragedy on its head. Conclusion: A Christmas Carol shows to us a message on two levels. On a first level it shows how if you don't change, you will die and go to hell and die. However if you are able to help not just yourself, but society as well, there is a hope of society changing on a wider level for the better - and less suffering overall. I think Dickens has successfully managed to teach his readers moral and social lessons from the book. Young readers can learn of the suffering of society, and help those suffering in society. The older readers can learn that there is hope, whatever position you are in - rich or poor - you have the ability to help others and change society for the better. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Marked by a teacher

    English Lit How Does Charles Dickens Use Imagery and Language to Present the Character ...

    4 star(s)

    the cold made his eyes turn red, this portrays to a reader that Scrooge is a devilish character and has the features of a devilish nature. The language in this passage portrays Scrooge to be very cold hearted, unfriendly and hard.

  2. Explore how Dickens makes his readers aware of poverty in A Christmas Carol.

    When Scrooge questions her as to whom the idol is she replies "A golden one." The reader would be astonished from Scrooge's explanation that the dealings of the world are even handed "There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty" where Scrooge realises that poverty is a

  1. How does Dickens use atmosphere and suspense to convey his moral message in 'A ...

    Therefore, this makes Scrooge, due to the 'Ghost of Christmas Past', think more about how he is acting at the present, where he is anti-social and refuses to acknowledge that he has to be sharing and caring during Christmas time.

  2. I am going to describe my first impressions of Scrooge and explain how Dickens ...

    didn't like christmas himslef, but he came around as he told his clerk to be in work the next moring. Scrooges nephew was far more different than his uncle, a qoute that shows this is 'a merry christmas! God save you,' this qoute shows that his nephew is alot more happier and upbeat about christmas than scrooge.

  1. The Three Spirits in A Christmas Carol present the reader with a great variety ...

    He has undergone his transformation at this point, and feels sorrow that no one will be there for his own death except his thieving servants. He also notes when he sees his tombstone that although there seems to be no hope for him, but he's told there is and he will change.

  2. How Does Dickens Portray Scrooge in the Beginning of "A Christmas Carol"?

    frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house, that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold", "one might have thought that Nature lived hard by, and was brewing on a large scale" and the "gruff old bell was always peeping slily" which makes it seem wary of Scrooge.

  1. How and why does the character of Scrooge change in 'A Christmas Carol' by ...

    Scrooge promises to change his attitude to Christmas and to show goodwill all year round. "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year..." He finally understands that the future he is shown is alterable and that he can change his fate "Good Spirit...Your nature intercedes for me, and pities me.

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

    This novel is about a man, Ebenezer Scrooge (the name Scrooge says it all; telling the audience beforehand that Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserable person), who looked down upon poor people because of his ignorance about the cause of poverty.

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