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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'? In 'A Christmas Carol', Dickens is trying to get across to the rich people of society the difference between their lives and those of the poor. He does this by using Scrooge, who personifies the rich people. It is set at Christmas time in early Victorian times, a time of giving and compassion. This signifies that the rich should give to the poor, especially at a festive time like Christmas. Dickens saw the cold, ugly conditions that the poor were living in and thought that he had to do something about it, so he wrote 'A Christmas Carol'. He sees the rich people as those with the power to change the poor people's lives. It is the rich who need to be educated about the power they have to change things for the benefit of the poor. The poor also need to be educated so that they can earn money for themselves. The tool that Dickens uses is Scrooge, he is a caricature of the problems and he portrays what the rich people were like. The rich people were the equivalent to Scrooge. He uses Scrooge to show the wilful ignorance of the rich. Although Scrooge can afford to support the poor, he only does this through paying his taxes which go towards the workhouses and treadmill. ...read more.


When the first of the three spirits comes to visit Scrooge, once again the bell chimes to signify something is about to happen. The first spirit, the spirit of Christmas past and the second spirit of Christmas present are both associated with light. As soon as the first spirit appears, Scrooge's bed curtains are drawn and there is a flash of light. 'It wore a tunic of the purest white' The second spirit is also associated with light. Scrooge is called to enter his own room to meet the ghost and upon entrance everything has changed. Everything is bright and cheerful, a direct contrast to Scrooge and his usual environment. 'The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove' The third of the three spirits however is the exact opposite to the first two. The third is completely associated with darkness and cold. Dickens tried to makes the Phantom appear like the Grim Reaper, the spirit that comes to get you when you die. 'Beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him. The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently, approached' This spirit is also referred to as a phantom rather than a spirit. All the adjectives that describe it are hard harsh words. 'Gravely' is associated with death, it also means sternly but a grave is where one goes upon death. ...read more.


Scrooge must beware of ignorance or he is doomed, along with the rest of society. If the rich carry on ignoring the poverty going on around them then they will be damned to eternal doom like Marley. Scrooge replies to the spirits attempts to explain this with, 'Have they no refuge or resource?' Showing how much Scrooge has changed. The spirit then comes back at him with his own words from earlier on, 'Are there no prisons, are there no workhouses', This is what Scrooge said to the charity workers that were asking Scrooge the same question Scrooge just asked the Spirit. Scrooge has no friends, this proves that money cannot buy you friends. From writing this book, Dickens achieved his aims as part of a social change. This was not because of 'A Christmas Carol' but it helped people realise. Dickens describes Scrooge with miserable adjectives at the start of the book: 'A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!' At the end of the book when Scrooge has undergone his change Dickens uses delightful adjectives: 'Golden sunlight: Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!' The rich people themselves could experience this change too if they are willing to help the poor. When Scrooge visits his ex-fianc�e, she is married to someone else and they are quite poor. The room is small but full of comfort, warmth and love. If Scrooge had not been so obsessed with making money all of the time, that could have been him. Adam Weir-Rhodes Mr Holloway 11JF ...read more.

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