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To what extent does Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' fit into the genre of the supernatural story and how does Dickens use it as a vehicle for his social views?

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Introduction

To what extent does Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' fit into the genre of the supernatural story and how does Dickens use it as a vehicle for his social views? For hundreds of years supernatural stories have been told with the intention of scaring the reader or listener. These kind of stories are often set in darkness or places where vision would be distorted; this is to enhance the terror in the atmosphere. Supernatural stories are written in such a way that they will play on the reader's subconscious fears and their worries on life after death. 'A Christmas Carol' is different to this however as it has a moral and the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, learns from his mistakes and becomes a better man. One of the most important elements of a ghost story is the atmosphere. Special effects, the setting and the plot all help to build up tension in the atmosphere. They add a sense of mystery which keeps the reader or listener on the edge of their seat. The setting is also important in a ghost story as it helps with the suspense and mood. Ghost stories are usually set in dark, eerie places with the weather also playing a part as it is normally raining or stormy outside. ...read more.

Middle

Many children never got an education, which Dickens believed was the only way out of poverty. There was little to do for leisure, and what was available was only really affordable for the rich, so the only affordable pleasure for the poor was sex, but as contraception wasn't available then, there was a very high birth rate resulting in thousands of children ending up in poverty. In 1839 almost half of the people who died in the UK were children under the age of ten. This was probably due to poor housing, too little food and accidents at work. If you failed to pay your bills in the Victorian era you were sent to a debtors prison or your family went to a workhouse where they would probably be split up. Then there was a greater gap between the rich and the poor. The rich knew very little about poverty and destitution and, in my opinion, thought themselves superior to the poor. Many people from the countryside went to the cities to find jobs but many lived in cheap accommodation with no running water or toilet. There weren't any bin men so rubbish was thrown out onto the streets causing various diseases which was another reason for a high death rate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Scrooge only cares about money, but he is so obsessed that he never spends any, just counts it. His personality is miserly, selfish and self-centred. If he had his way Christmas would be banned as he believes there is no profit or gain in it, just a waste of time when he could be making money. This is how Dickens describes Scrooge: "External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm him, no wintry weather chill him." When his business partner Jacob Marley died he didn't even show any emotion, he didn't even consider him a friend although they worked together for many years. He didn't even replace the sign that said 'Marley and Scrooge' after seven years after Marley's death. Scrooge didn't have any friends, just business associates. 'A Christmas Carol' has a typical moral to it as there is a fight between good and evil where good triumphs. It also teaches people to be kind, considerate, live life to the full and be thankful for what they've got. It also makes you think about the people in the poorer communities. The social intent of 'A Christmas Carol' is to try and educate the rich of the lives of the poor and destitute. Also to make the rich aware of their responsibility to the poor. 'A Christmas Carol' is a good supernatural story as it has a good moral plot which teaches us many lessons which are still relevant today. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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