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What makes 'A Christmas Carol' such a Powerful and memorable story

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Introduction

What makes 'A Christmas Carol' such a Powerful and memorable story Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' is probably one of the most unforgettable stories passed down the generations. 'A Christmas Carol', although it is of a different time period still today teaches valuable lessons. In the story, Ebenezer Scrooge begins by having no feelings for anything or anybody. In the end, he changes from his gloomy, dark self. Charles Dickens expresses through a Christmas Carol that kindness can lead to happiness. A Christmas Carol shows how the Christmas spirit and caring people can change a person and their outlook on life. Dickens wrote this story partly to make people conscious of the appalling plight of the children of the poor. Firstly, Dickens has many elements in his style of writing that makes him a first-class writer. He uses similes and metaphors very imaginatively to catch the readers' mind and engage them into his story, for example, '...self-contained, and solitary as an oyster', this is a simile and tells us that Scrooge keeps to himself and doesn't trust anyone with anything. Here is one of Dickens' metaphors, '...he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone...', this sort descriptive writing is much more artistic and builds a much more stronger picture of Scrooge or whatever he is trying to portray. Dickens also gives his views on a subject, which gives it a further personal touch, '...I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nails the deadest piece of ironmongery...' this makes people think about what he has said, and makes them wonder whether they agree with his opinion or not. ...read more.

Middle

This long sentence constructs the suspense and atmosphere of what is going to happen next, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat and also variety in length creates interest. But even though it is a long sentence it has a lot of pauses which is produced by the repeated use of commas therefore maintaining the tension in the sentence. A way which you could look at it is the merging of many short sentences like 'He looked out.' Therefore creating one long sentence. Dickens introduces humour into 'A Christmas Carol' for example, '... a ghost so transparent might find him self to take a chair...' some people may say it is wrong to introduce humour into a story but I don't think Dickens meant for it to be a full on ghost story because introducing humour into the story, it lightens up the mood thus varying the atmosphere. Also you have to look at the audience which Dickens was aiming for, I don't think he wrote the story for die hard ghost story readers but for children, Christmas story but most importantly to put the point across of the appalling plight of the children of the poor. In 'A Christmas Carol' there is many characters some major and others minor from Scrooge to Belle. The first major character is obviously Ebenezer Scrooge who is a hard, cold miser who spends his days counting his profits and wishing the world would leave him alone. He doesn't believe in charity, and he is certain that those who do are just lazy bums looking for a handout. Scrooge's entire life is his business and he shuts out his nephew who is the only relative he has. ...read more.

Conclusion

The first of these might be Marley's saying, "Business...Mankind was my business". Where Scrooge sees business in the familiar sense of trade and finance, Marley now sees that one's "business" is what one should do in life, duty or obligation. Mankind is or was not just Marley's business of course, but Scrooge's business, your business and mine, in fact, everyone's. Secondly, Scrooge's unkind remark that poor people should die and "reduce the surplus population" brings us to another theme of the story. When Scrooge asks if Tiny Tim will die he is reminded of these words. Why? Because the "surplus population" is not an abstraction but real individuals. Scrooge is told by the Ghost of Christmas Present to find out "What the surplus is, and where it is" before making such statements. Another theme is that change is possible however set we are in our ways. Dickens imagines the most miserable and hard-hearted man he can, and shows how he can be reformed if he sees his responsibilities. The message that Dickens is trying to get across is one of happiness. If you live your life in seclusion, only speaking to those who you must and always being nasty, you can never be truly happy. Dickens uses Scrooge as the epitome of selfishness and we are supposed to realise this and contrast it with Tiny Tim's attitude of caring and sharing. Tiny Tim is the epitome of joy and hope; he is the person in the book with who we are supposed to learn from. The ghosts are the conduit from which we are to understand the past, present, and future of an unhappy man. Mohammed Rahman 10TS 02/05/07 ...read more.

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