Scrooge’s selfish personality is personified with the weather, ‘The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose , shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice’. This quote is describing Scrooge and comparing him to the weather, especially the wind and I think it is trying to make him look like the he is relentless and bitter, There is a sense of evil in it as well, like the parts about ‘grating voice’ and ‘eyes red’. It sounds like he is being portrayed as evil and heartless, even the weather dislikes him; ‘he carried the low temperature around with him’ showing Scrooge is so bad that he literally carries around the cold with him: ‘No warmth could warm him, no wintry weather chill him.’ ‘No wind that blew was bitterer than him’; ‘Foul weather didn’t know where to have him’. Scrooge only thinks that now is the time to make or lose money; the past and future exist only to serve the present. There are many things that show Scrooge’s obsessions with the present. Dickens shows this by having recurring symbols like the many bells and clocks which are mentioned in the story. ‘The city clocks had only just gone three’ This ties in with his obsession of keeping to time and making money. He also announces the arrival of Marley’s ghost be reference to bells ‘his glance rested upon a bell… but it soon rang loudly, so did every bell in the house’
I think Dickens feels very strongly about how the poor are badly treated. He mainly blames the class system of Victorian England. However, the Cratchits are poor yet they are happy. They do not have too much of the material things in life but when they do they make the most of it and enjoy it: ‘And now smaller Cratchits, boy and girl came tearing in , … they had smelt the goose …. And basking in the luxurious thoughts of sage and onion’: Even though they may not be getting the most luxurious meal in the world , They are still happy and grateful. I think Dickens shows their joy and thankfulness and they are not taking it for granted, even on Christmas day. One important Christian teaching I think Victorian society lacks is charity: ‘It is more usually desirable … that we take slight provisions for the poor and destitute who suffer greatly at the present time’. Scrooge is asked to give money to charity; his reply is ‘Are there no prisons, Union work houses?’ He is saying that they should be put into prisons or workhouses; he doesn’t not give them money nor does he want to be responsible. This also links back to the poor treatment of the working lower class. Instead of Scrooge dealing with the problem, he says it is someone else’s problem. Also Christmas is meant to be a time for giving, a tie for love and togetherness, but Scrooge symbolises how Victorian society doesn’t follow this and appreciate Christmas enough. As Scrooge says it is a ‘time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer’. He is only still worried about money and not love, family or generosity. Even when compassion is shown to him he rejects and rebukes it ‘Bah!’ ‘Humbug!’ He is also invited around to his nephew’s house but rejects it. So it is showing the lack of togetherness that Christians are meant to have at Christmas.
To conclude the main issue I think Dickens criticises in his society is their obsession with money, their greed and irresponsibility as citizens. But the main idea is that money is just a material matter and when you die you will lose it and will not be able to take it with you. Dickens in writing this novella, is warning people that if they don’t change they will all suffer for their selfishness. The last ghost is warning what Victorian society can potentially develop into if they don’t change. It shows how badly it can go wrong and how people can easily have the wrong motives in life. I think that his main message is that you should live a happy and kind life not just at Christmas and be with your family and give to your family and be generally a kind person.
A Christmas carol is a critique of Victorian society because it evaluates how things can go wrong because of capitalism and money at the expense of Christian moral values. Dickens shows that society should work towards trying to be like the Cratchits regardless of class.