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What do you see as Dickens' aims in "A Christmas Carol"?

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What do you see as Dickens' aims in "A Christmas Carol"? "A Christmas Carol" was written in 1843 in the time where Britain was dirty and the living conditions were dreadful for the poor. Many of the inhabitants came into the city from the countryside in search of work as mechanisation was beginning to reduce the number of agricultural jobs available. Some of the jobs that was available to the poor included children working as chimney sweepers. Also women and children under the age of thirteen were working in harsh workhouses. These workhouses paid them very little for many hours of work which meant the poor could not afford many different things. In this book Charles Dickens tries to illustrate these living conditions of the poor and how the rich 'wilfully' ignores the fact there is such a problem; this is personified in the book by Scrooge. In the book he is trying to tell the rich that the poor should be treated with more compassion. He does this by means of writing a book because the educated people can read. To emphasise his point, he sets his story at Christmas time as it is a time of giving. "Christmas, in other words is not automatically something of perfection. That. Perhaps, is the main point of the story - that perfect-seeming Christmases have to be created through generosity, goodwill and love." In 'Christmas Carol', Dickens uses Scrooge to give us a picture of what was the social state of society. The use of diction that Dickens uses to describe Scrooge, his environment and everything else that relates to him as cold, dark and hard. This also symbolises the hardness of life of the poor and also how they will have to live through cold winters because they cannot afford much coal to provide heating in their homes. "Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out a generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster." ...read more.


"he saw his bell being to swing.....and so did every bell in the house" Marley points out the Scrooge that he has been through what was to become of Scrooge and needs him to change to avoid this. "and if that spirit goes far not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death." Now Dickens is using Marley to say that it is your duty as a human being to show more compassion or else you are condemned for life. If Scrooge continues with his selfish deeds then there will be no escape from this eternal punishment that will stay with him forever. Dickens says that no rich person will ever get away with selfish deeds. "The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley's Ghost." By this time, there is a slight sign of change in Scrooge which could mean the rich are now slightly aware that something had to be done to help the poor but still reluctant to do so. "He tired to say "Humbug!" but stopped at the first syllable." The first spirit that Scrooge encountered was described "purest white", "lustrous belt", "beautiful" and "fresh green holly" which is a total contrast of Scrooge who is dark and frosty. The light is the symbolism of the truth which indicates that this spirit is going to take Scrooge through what is really happening. At the moment Scrooge does not want to know the truth, the rich still does not want to have anything to do with the poor. "...he had a special desire to see the Sprit in his cap; and begged him to be covered." Scrooge wanted the truth to be hidden and wants the light to be put out because he liked the dark. That was the kind of person he was, dark and cold. ...read more.


The scene at the Cratchit's house when Tim had died, describes how even though the child is dead, there is people still taking care of him. As for when he died, not only did no-one care but they even stole from him. "There was a chair set close beside the child, and there were signs of some one having been there lately." It shows that even though they are poor and Tim is dead, they show compassion as Scrooge's nephew offers help. Dickens uses warm words like "lightly", "cheerfully" and "happy" to make the atmosphere much calmer although they are facing a catastrophic loss. The Phantom shows him to his grave stone and this symbolises the fate of every other person that was like Scrooge. Scrooge was desperate for that to not become true which shows us that the rich now want to do something to change the fate of their lives. Scrooge does change, which shows the change amongst the rich people which would mean that they have come out the dark and into the light. Dickens indicates his change by his choice of diction in his texts, he uses warm and words that relate to light and there is no reference to dark or cold. "Golden sunlight: Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells." The short sharp sentences emphasises his happiness and excitement that he gets from helping other people. Although some people may laugh at you for such a drastic change, but Dickens is saying if it is for the good then you should do it even if they are going to laugh at you. "Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh" The changed Scrooge started to help people and this meant that he had changed his fate and was not going to end up like Jacob Marley. This meant that Tiny Tim had lived because the rich have started helping the poor which meant the ones that were in need of this help were saved. Jeffrey Tse 11JF ...read more.

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