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What evidence is there in "A Christmas Carol" of social, cultural and historical contexts?

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Introduction

Name: Chris Kelly Age: 16 D.O.B: 04/08/87 Date of Completion: 28/10/03 What evidence is there in "A Christmas Carol" of social, cultural and historical contexts? "A Christmas Carol" is rich with historical, cultural and social contexts, all poignantly intertwined throughout the text. As the story is set in Victorian times, we are immediately given a sense of time and place in stave 1, by descriptions of both customs and daily routines. As the tale was set so long ago, there were obviously no modern appliances or conveniences. Dickens shows this as he describes Scrooge's counting house "Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerks fire was so much very smaller that it looked like one coal", "...and tried to warm himself at the candle". ...read more.

Middle

We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I'll keep my Christmas humour to the last", "Stop till I shut the door of the shop. Ah! How it skreeks! There an't such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges" From the beginning of the novel and, obviously due to its title, we can see that there is much influence from the cultural aspects of Christmas. As the story is set in the 'festive' season, great emphasis is stressed on Scrooge's attitudes compared to those around him at this traditionally jovial time of year/ This is a major factor in the structure of the story, although it is the general social and cultural side of the holiday rather than the religious meaning. ...read more.

Conclusion

When asked whether he wishes to support a charity, Scrooge replies that prisons and workhouses are all the charity the poor need. The harshness of these remarks are later presented to Scrooge in a different context and he begins to realize the full error of his ways- a major point in the story. Dickens, contrary to Scrooge's thinking, later criticizes these opinions when we are shown the extent of the Cratchit's poverty. I believe the sympathy Dickens arouses when describing the house, stems from his own childhood where he was forced to work in a workhouse similar to those Scrooge talks about. This, I think, provides strong emotional aspects in the text and enables Dickens to effectively compel his audience to disagree with the social views presented. ...read more.

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