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What do you see as Dickens social aims in "A Christmas Carol" and how does he go about them?

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Introduction

What do you see as Dickens social aims in "A Christmas Carol" and how does he go about them? Charles Dickens social aim is to help the readers of the book understand the problems and sufferings of the poor. In the book, which was set in the Victorian Era, the poor worked for long hours for a very little pay, had poor housing and were ignorant due to little or no education. When they needed benefits, they could only seek assistance from the charitable institutions (which were not plentiful at this time) or the work houses. Scrooge is an example of the typical rich man in the Victorian era. He believed that poverty was as a cause of the poor mans laziness and the rich have provided them with the facilities and equipment to help them such as workhouses, prisons, "the poor law", and "the treadmill law" which were totally inadequate. Dickens tries to open the eyes of the rich and the powerful and to encourage them to help the poor/common man. Dickens sets his novella during the Christmas period as it symbolises a time of year when people are aware of giving, charity and helping the less fortunate. Mr Scrooge was a very wicked, stingy rich man and Dickens used him (Scrooge) as a caricature to reflect all the evil within the society. ...read more.

Middle

The second spirit is bright and jolly. The room he was in was bright full of food marking that Christmas is a time of plenty around and enough to give those in need. "The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light as if so many little mirrors had been there... there sat a jolly giant, glorious to see who bore a glowing torch..." The third spirit who was a phantom was dark and cold. He wasn't warm and jolly like the other two spirits. He doesn't say any word to show how sinister and dangerous he is. He represents the future for Scrooge-a future that is damned, "It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which was concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand". These spirits present scenes that encourage Scrooge to re-asses his life and also encourage the reader to do so. The spirit of Christmas past showed scrooge a time when he was left alone at school when his sister, Fan came to take him home for Christmas "...I was going to bed, that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home; and he said yes, you should; and sent me in a coach to bring you..." Scrooge was, happy at the thought of going home for Christmas. ...read more.

Conclusion

The spirit took him to the house of Bob Crachit. The house that was once jolly and full of happiness was now grey and bitter. Tiny Tim had died and it affected the family a lot, "He broke down all at once. He couldn't help it. If he could have helped it, he and his child would have been further apart perhaps than they were." Bob Crachit couldn't stop crying because he missed Tiny Tim (he brought joy and life to the family). When the spirit took Scrooge to a graveyard and points him in the direction of a tombstone. Scrooge is scared and asks the spirit "... Are these shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of the things that May be, only?" Scrooge has changed and does not want to die a horrible death. He has changed and wants to be remembered as a good person and wants people to attend his burial. Eventually, Scrooge does change and he becomes very warm and kind to those around him. He helps Tiny Tim who does live and Scrooge became like a father to him. The ghost of Christmas present revealed two children that were under his cloak. These children personify want and ignorance being the most important. Dickens wants people who are ignorant to help change the situation of the world by helping educate the poor and help them with their other needs. The novella did eventually lead to some changes like "the chimney sweep act" and the education of children under the age of sixteen (16). ...read more.

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