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How Does Stave 3 Of A Christmas Carol Illustrate Dickens Concerns About Social Issues

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How Does Stave 3 Of 'A Christmas Carol' Illustrate Dickens' Concerns About Social Issues Victorian Britain saw the birth of the industrial revolution with the invention of steam power. This changed millions of lives as people flocked to the cities from the countryside in order to find work in the factories and mills. This caused terrible overcrowding and congestion in the cities. As so many people were packed into such a small space living conditions were terrible. This led to health issues, such as outbreaks of cholera and other diseases, along with the social issues that Charles Dickens so strongly objected to. The biggest factor in a person's social status in Victorian Times was the quantity of their wealth. The poor were seen as inferior to the rich people of the time and they were treated as such. Before Dickens emerged into the public eye as a writer and become popular, there was no real incentive among the wealthy citizens of the country to attempt to change the flawed social situation. As a child Dickens was very poor, he spent much of his childhood with his father in prison and he had to work in a blacking factory. This meant that when he grew up and made his fortune he possessed a strong sense of social awareness that others lacked due to their own self-centredness. ...read more.


In Stave 3 The Ghost of Christmas Present comes to Scrooge to explain to him the meaning of Christmas and to show what a positive effect this understanding could have on Scrooges life. The spirit does this by showing Scrooge a number of scenes depicting the way others spend their Christmases and the joy they receive from these festivities. This Stave acts as the centrepiece of the novella and marks the real turning point in Scrooge's attitudes and opinions towards Christmas cheer and goodwill. Throughout Stave 1 and 2 Scrooge has the odd moment where he forgets himself and shows subtle signs of regret as to the way he has lead his life. For instance in Stave 2 when Scrooge is shown images of himself as a child. '"A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still." Scrooge said he knew it. And he sobbed.' This is the first real sign of any deep emotion shown by Scrooge, supported by Dickens' use of short sentences broken up with punctuation to add emphasis and give the passage a faster pace for the reader to associate it Scrooge's state of heightened emotion. This begins to show the reader that Scrooge isn't as cold-hearted or uncaring as he seems. Perhaps it is just a fa�ade he uses so as to hide the loneliness he feels from others and, more importantly, to hide it from himself to protect himself from having to relive the pain of his solitude. ...read more.


He was quite happy to sit at home feeling sorry for himself and acting like he didn't care about anything and therefore saw anyone who ever expected anything more from him as being unnecessarily intrusive into his lifestyle. When Scrooge is faced with Tiny Tim, and the prospect of him losing his life, he is directly faced with the victim of his own actions and he doesn't like it. I think this is the main catalyst that breaks Scrooge out of his Psychological cycle of self-loathing. When the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to the Cratchit's household on Christmas Day, where they live their happy, family-orientated lives, the celebrations seem meagre to Scrooge because he is used to living a wealthy lifestyle and finding no pleasure in it whatsoever. What the spirit wants Scrooge to understand, and what Dickens wants the public to understand, is the way the Cratchits find joy in each other's presence, and that the experience of enjoying the company of others is one that no amount of money can buy. This is the social lesson that Dickens is trying to preach to the public, the fact that having a lot of money makes you no better off than someone who has none and that a person's is held in the way they are seen in the eyes of the people that surround them. Steve Hajiyianni Page 1 11/24/2009 ...read more.

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