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The novel 'A Christmas Carol' narrates the story of a man called Scrooge and how he realises his behaviour to people must change in order to do well in his life as spirits show his past, present and future.

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Introduction

The novel 'A Christmas Carol' narrates the story of a man called Scrooge and how he realises his behaviour to people must change in order to do well in his life as spirits show his past, present and future. In each stave Scrooge gradually changes his attitude to become a better person. Early on in the play, Dickens talks directly to the reader using a humorous tone. He also uses similes in order to build up our view of Scrooge's character before we come to meet him. 'Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire.' This use of language informs the reader that Scrooge is a mean and greedy person and has a great impact on how we view him. Long, multi-clause, complex sentences are used throughout the novel, which are challenging to read. Dickens also uses lists, metaphors and personification to create setting and character. As the story opens, the weather is dull and miserable. 'It was cold, bleak, biting weather: foggy withal.' This is used to represent Scrooge, showing his ugly qualities, the weather being used as a metaphor. Dickens then uses many devices to introduce Scrooge's character and the theme of goodness. He uses a metaphor to demonstrate Scrooge's immoral character and his lack of kindness to all by description. ...read more.

Middle

'Fezziwig, bless his heart'. There is further evidence that Scrooge is changing by his expression. 'His heart and soul were in the scene'. He is already a very different character from Scrooge we met at his counting house. In Stave three as Scrooge lies upon his bed awaiting for something to happen and finally going to his door, a voice is heard. His room has undergone a transformation which is symbolic of Scrooge's attitude changing dramatically towards goodness. Dickens uses colour to explore the detail in the room. 'The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove; from every part of which, bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe and ivy reflected back the light.' This also resembles the goodness of Christmas as Christmas items are commented upon. On the floor then appears a kind of throne, there were 'turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat.' This represents richness and also creates setting. The description of the ghost reinforces the goodness of his character: 'free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice'. This is what Scrooge should become. As Scrooge speaks to the spirit he realises how he is changing his attitude towards goodness. ...read more.

Conclusion

There he breaks down into complete grief and says how he has learnt his lesson and he is a changed man and how he knows how his responsibility to society has a great importance. 'I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, Present and Future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lesson that they teach.' This is similar to J.B. Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' as the theme that runs throughout the play is Responsibility to Society. Interestingly it also resembles the play in the way time is changed The final Stave contrasts sharply with the first Stave as both Character and Setting have dramatically changed. The setting in the first stave was cold and bleak but here there is 'No fog, no mist, clear, bright, jovial, stirring cold; cold piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky'. This is symbolic of Scrooge's character as he has dramatically changed from the start when he was a tight and mean man. Throughout the novel Scrooge has changed his attitude and developed goodness. He has learnt a lesson from the three spirits, each changing him bit by bit. It is evident as in each Stave he slightly changes his attitude. This is also reflected in the setting as each Stave explores the theme of goodness. ...read more.

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