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How effectively does the writer, Charles Dickens, create a feeling of antipathy in the reader towards the character, Scrooge in the opening stave of 'A Christmas Carol'?

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Abdulbasit Asif How effectively does the writer, Charles Dickens, create a feeling of antipathy in the reader towards the character, Scrooge in the opening stave of `A Christmas Carol'? Christmas has always been a happy, joyous occasion, an occasion, on which everyone expresses feelings of goodwill and happiness. This is probably true for everyone but Dickens' character Scrooge. It's now common terminology for anyone not being in the `Christmas spirit' to be referred to as a Scrooge. This just shows how much of an impact Dickens's novel has had on Christmas and people. At the start of stave 1 we hear about Scrooge's old business partner, Marley who had just recently died. "Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain." This idea of Scrooge not going to Marley's funeral so he could work and make a bit more money just shows how heartless and uncaring he can be. Anyone reading this would most likely feel some antipathy to Dickens's character because of his greed and love for money at a time to show some respect. ...read more.


Another example of the use of pathetic fallacy to create feelings of antipathy towards Dickens's character is "No warmth could warm, no wintry weather could chill him." What I think Charles Dickens means here is that Scrooge is such a cold person and he won't ever be anything less than cold. The second part of the second is to show that he's so cold that the wintry weather could not make him any worse. This technique is used to further express just how unfeeling Scrooge can be. The first words Dickens puts in Scrooge's mouth are his response to his nephew, Fred's, holiday greetings. "A merry Christmas, Uncle! God save you," says Fred; to which Scrooge replies, immortally, "Bah! . . . Humbug!" In two words, Scrooge establishes himself as the personification of cheerless, joyless, cold hearted inhumanity, an impression strengthened throughout the opening stave. After this first stave where Dickens creates Scrooge as this almost inhumane, heartless character, we now see a huge turnaround after his visit by the three Christmas spirits. He is now a totally reformed person with love for the Christmas season. ...read more.


This again contrasts with the dark and dreary atmosphere we see in the first stave. This shows us that with one person's happiness can rub off on the people around him and make the world a nicer place, which I believe is part of the purpose for Charles Dickens writing this novel. The irony of the story is that we can see how much happier Scrooge is giving his money away rather than being a tight-fisted miser. This gives an `it's better to give than to receive' kind of message to the novel. One of the fundamental facts about the story is that characters are interesting in proportion to the degree of change they undergo as a result of discovery. That belief is clearly revealed in `A Christmas Carol' and it accounts for the continuing and undeniable interest that we feel in the transformation of Scrooge from an unfeeling monster into a morally reborn human being. "He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a ma, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world." This last quote sums up Dickens's purpose for writing this novel of change. If this monster of a character can change, anyone can. ...read more.

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