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With reference to context, language and structure, consider some of the factors that have contributed to the enduring popularity of A Christmas Carol.

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Prose Study Coursework: With reference to context, language and structure, consider some of the factors that have contributed to the enduring popularity of A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Carol, 1843, is set against the backdrop of the industrial revolution. It was a time when industry was thriving but the gap between the poor and the rich was growing. Dickens' London was an unpleasant place to live due to atmospheric pollution, filth on the streets and widespread disease and illness. The level of general education was poor and poverty was rife. Charles Dickens influence to write the novel came from his own situation as a young boy consigned to the blacking factory as a result of his fathers debts. Other financial pressures were exerted upon him as his wife was expecting their fifth child. Dickens central concern is about children. Christmas symbolises a time of happiness in particular for children but this is not so for those living in poverty. Dickens wanted to highlight the plight of the poor and their social conditions. In A Christmas Carol Dickens combines the misery of the poor with the joy of Christmas. He felt that the only time the rich seemed to show any awareness of the suffering of others is during the Christmas period it's a time "when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys" Dickens completed the novel in a very short time and had little confidence that it would be successful. ...read more.

Middle

The image of a lonely boy makes the reader warm to him. Dickens introduces the idea that Scrooge has the potential to change. This captures the reader's attention again as it demonstrates that Scrooge did once have appreciation for others. He remembers the little boy that came singing carols and his nephew's earlier visit. We see that Scrooge is remorseful that he did not treat them better. The spirit takes Scrooge to a place where he used to work and is reminded how he had enjoyed Christmases in the past. He reflects on how he treats his employee when he remembers the kindness of his boss Mr Fezziwig had shown him. Finally, before the second spirit visits, the reader is drawn into Scrooge's sadness when he sees Belle happily married to someone else. Scrooge realises the importance of a family and is so saddened by this that he asks the spirit to "remove him from this place." The reader starts to feel sympathy for Scrooge. Secondly, Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' is a story with a happy resolution. This is another key reason for its lasting appeal. The reader is taken through a wide range of emotions but in the final stave the only emotions are of happiness and hope. We see happiness throughout the stave and this prompts the reader to hope for more joy in the characters future. This is important as it reflects the spirit of Christmas for many people and it was how Dickens believed Christmas should be. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last stave is where we see a drastic change in Scrooge's behaviour. His merry attitude towards Christmas is seen when he says 'A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you, for many a year! I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family.' From this we can see that Scrooge has a new kindness within him. It shows that Scrooge has realised that he has not treated Bob well and that he will try to make amends. It also suggests that Scrooge is now more charitable and generous. We also see that Scrooge is again thinking about others 'assist your struggling family' which is an extreme contrast to Stave One 'If they would rather die...they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.' A Christmas Carol remains as popular as ever. This is because it continues to be relevant to today's society. Dickens wanted to cut through the materialism of Christmas and remind people of its real meaning, which is a time to be joyous and charitable. Dickens use of strong language when describing Scrooge's character at the beginning is to demonstrate that there is always a possibility of change and redemption of a character. This allows the reader to believe that there is some goodness in all. It creates feeling of hope, warmth and joy that is linked to Christmas. In 'A Christmas Carol' Dickens' use of language makes the reader feel that they are amongst the action. It conjures up all the range of emotions that a human being experiences and ultimately results in happiness, which is an emotion everyone strives for. ...read more.

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