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How does Dickens use the conventions of the ghost story to make people think about important social issues in a Christmas carol

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Introduction

How does Dickens use the conventions of the ghost story to make people think about important social issues in a Christmas carol? Victorian attitudes the poor were very negative. Many rich people believed that it was a poor person's fault that they were poor. If you were poor there was no social security, benefits or pensions to survive on so they were forced into institutions like the poor house. Charles Dickens wrote many books about what it was like to live in poverty in Victorian England. Many of his books are written to make people feel sympathetic towards the poor, and his works were a great influence on people's opinions towards the poor at this time. He was particularly interested in doing this as he himself had been poor and was forced to work in a blacking factory. The novel "A Christmas Carol" is about a man called Ebenezer Scrooge who is very rich and has slightly exaggerated Victorian attitudes towards the poor. After his friend Jacob Marley visits him from the dead he is told that if he does not change his ways he will face the same fate as Jacob Marley; to be bound in chains for eternity. ...read more.

Middle

and how not to treat others. Jacob Marley is Scrooge's dead business partner, he had the same attitudes and behaviour as Scrooge, "We have no doubt his liberality is well presented by his surviving partner,"... It certainly was; for they had been to kindred spirits." The ghost of Jacob Marley visits Scrooge one night and warns him if he does not change his ways, and help others he will be doomed to spend his existence bound in chains, for Jacob Marley has spent his ghostly existence bound in chains that are made from things he preoccupied himself with in life. It says, "The chain he drew was clasped around his middle. It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for scrooge observed it closely) of cash boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel." People in Dickens time were extremely scared of ghosts and so Marley is a good way to get across a message to the reader that actions in life have consequences. ...read more.

Conclusion

"It matters little," she said softly. " to you, very little. Another idol has displaced me; and, if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve." " What idol has displaced you." "A golden one." The golden idol she speaks of is money and she is saying how Scrooge has just replaced his love for her with love for money. The next ghost to visit him shows Scrooge scenes of people enjoying themselves at Christmas time. It shows him Bob Cratchit his clerk, who is underpaid by Scrooge and as a result is living in poverty, however his family makes the best of what little they have. Scrooge finds out how much they all hate him when Bob attempts to make a toast to Mr Scrooge. "Mr Scrooge!" said Bob. "I'll give you Mr scrooge, the founder of the feast!" "The founder of the feast, indeed" cried Mrs cratchit, reddening. "I wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it. ...read more.

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