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Trace the development of Scrooge's Character throughout the book.

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Introduction

Prose Coursework Dickens, Charles 'A Christmas Carol' "I have endeavoured in the Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it." Coursework Assignment: Trace the development of Scrooge's Character throughout the book. Scrooge A Christmas Carol was the first of Dickens enormously successful Christmas books, which grew progressively darker. It was intended as a whimsical sort of masque devised to awaken loving and forbearing thoughts and it appeared in December 1844. One of Dickens' main aims was to make people aware of the terrible plight of the children born into poverty. He developed a fictional character, a miserable, cold and miserly man named Scrooge. Throughout this essay I will trace the development of scrooges character by analysing his actions at crucial stages throughout the novel. Dickens describes scrooge as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, and covetous old sinner". Initially I agreed with this negative view of scrooge but as the book develops so does scrooges character and what becomes evident is a completely different person. Dickens begins the story by describing scrooge's character. His use of assonance and his constant string of adjectives immediately grab the readers attention and create a powerful atmosphere throughout dickens description of scrooge he repeatedly refers to coldness in a multitude of ways but principally in connection with the weather e.g. "the cold within him froze his features", "a frosty rime was on his head", "he carried his own low temperature about him", "he iced his office", "external heat and cold had little influence on scrooge", "no warmth could warm him nor wintry weather chill him" and "no wind that blew was bitterer than he". By doing this dickens makes scrooges personality very powerfully clear to the reader. ...read more.

Middle

What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population". Here we see Scrooge displaying more emotion as he hangs his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spriti and is overcome with penitence and grief, something that I never thought Scrooge would feel. The Cratchit's teach Scrooge a further lesson before he leaves with the spirit, a lesson of gratitude and forgiveness. As they seat themselves around the table and praise God for the little food they have, having a Goose on the table for them to feast on brings excitement and delight to the whole family. As they toast Christmas and their family Bob Cratchit makes a surprising toast to Scrooge! As he raises his glass he says "Mr Scrooge!". His wife, however, takes a completely different approach and says "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." Bob calmly replies "My dear. The children, Christmas Day". Even though Mrs Cratchit had protested to Mr Cratchit's toast, she still manages to overcome her anger; "I'll drink to his health for your sake and the sake of the day's she says. As Scrooge realises he is the 'Ogre' of the family discussion and that he has never displayed such generosity of spirit he is put to shame. Scrooge turns to leave with the Spirit leading him to his next vision. As they enter another house Scrooge immediately realises that it belongs to his nephew. Scrooge recognises his nephew's words, "Christmas was a humbug" and that his nephew and his friends are mocking his own attitude towards Christmas. As Scrooge's Niece, (By marriage), calls out "More shame for him!" Scrooge's nephew then makes an extremely precise judgement which obviously strikes a harsh reality with Scrooge as he says, "His wealth is of no use to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the room fills and they sit down to eat Scrooge feels great warmth, for the first time he can truly see again and he forgets about his business and about money and begins to live his life opening his heat to those around him. The Following morning on Boxing Day, Scrooge makes a conscious effort to get to work early so that he can catch Bob Cratchit arriving late for work as he did every year. He acts like he would have usually done pointing out that he is late and asking his for his excuses and then he says "I am not going to stand for this sort of thing any longer, and therefore, I am about to raise your salary." It is then that Bob realises Scrooge is not the miserly cold man he one was, but is now transformed. Dickens talks of Scrooge's actions which followed and how he kept the word he had given to the Spirits, he informs us that Tiny Tim did not die and that Scrooge became a wonderful citizen and a great friend to the Cratchit's as he did to he Nephew. When Dickens published this book he aimed it not at the poor but at the upper class. This was obvious as the poor in Victorian times would not have been able to read such books as these. He wanted to change society's views and create awareness of the poverty that existed. His emphasis on Children's ignorance and want I think is a brilliant use of imagery. Dickens subtly insults the rich calling them ignorant and greedy. Despite this, however, Dickens did not receive criticisms for this book but received high commendations and it is still regularly referred to and read by children and adults of our generation. This book is just one of the wonderful creations of Dickens' imagination, carrying a powerful and profound message that will educate all generations to come. 1 Laura Binsale Prose Coursework ...read more.

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