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What picture of Victorian life is created by the novel A Christmas Carol?

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Introduction

What picture of Victorian life is created by the novel A Christmas Carol The Victorian Age was one of change and development but will always remain a focal point of our history. Family Life for the middle and upper classes was very important, as each family was a large one, living in comfortable houses when life was enjoyable and where children were taught to know their place. In contrast, for poor or working classes families the biggest fear was ending up in the workhouse. If this did happen families split up and were led regimented lives as they were made to dress in uniform and to have short hair cuts. For many children in this class of family life was not a good style of living, living off scraps and conditions were certainly no better. Many children died from scarlet fever, measles, Polio or TB. They were given foul drinking water from open drains and there was a distinct lack of toilets this meant that disease was quickly spread The father of an upper- class family was most definitely the head of the household and was strict and obeyed by all family members. The children were taught to respect their father and called him sir. Often the father would retire to his study when wanting quiet and the rest of the family were never allowed to enter. The mother of the family was very much the organiser of the family, planning dinner or parties. ...read more.

Middle

The 'Father came home attended by a man laden with Christmas presents and toys' which shows that they had some wealth and the actions of the children is almost comical at times as they rush towards the ' defenceless porter ' There is joy and gratitude and ecstasy ' showing the true spirit of things in this household at Christmas. The Cratchit family is a prime example that is shown in the book of a lower class family. The mother ' dressed out poorly in a twice turned gown, but brave in ribbons '. There was lots of ' screaming ' as people ' danced about the table '. These are all examples of the poor conditions they were under but were still able to have fun in their own unique way. The family again shows love when Mrs Cratchit says ' kissing her a dozen times ' which is a theme throughout the Cratchit household. The family wear ' threadbare clothes darned up ' and the first time Tiny Tim is described he is said to bare ' a little crutch, and had limbs supported by a wooden frame ' which immediately lets the reader know his poor state and how he needs help. Another example of the love that encircles the cratchit is when ' ' Bob hugged his daughter to his hearts content '. When the goose for Christmas dinner is brought out the cratchit's na�ve attitudes to real life are stated as it is described as ' such a bustle ensued that you might have thought a goose the rarest of all birds ' as they have never seen something like it before. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although these great traditions streamed from the streets every night Scrooge still worked hard and says ' It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's' which sums up his negative, cold hearted feelings towards Christmas. He shows ' ill- will' towards Christmas and gives the clerk one day off in a crude manor 'and its not fair. If I was to stop half a crown for it, you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be bound. Which means that he is grudgingly giving the clerk Christmas day off. This shows us that money is very important to him and gives us an insight into why the ghosts come to haunt him. Other traditions include Blind mans buff and snap dragon, ' both of which his model lower class father, Bob Cratchit, runs home to play on Christmas day. By the end of the book these attitudes change and he is made to question his attitude by the experiences here is a quote that at the end of the book that says just that ' I don't know how long I've been among the spirits. I don't know anything. I'm quite a baby. Never mind. I don't care. I'd rather be a baby. The novel 'A Christmas Carol' concentrates very much on the experiences of the working class, but it wasn't like this for everyone for example the middle classes or the upper classes. If you belonged to this social sector you saw the finer things in life at that time and enjoyed the best of life but for many illustrated in this book life was very much harder. ...read more.

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