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A Christmas Carol is an allegory, written in 1843 by Charles Dickens, is one of the most compelling Christmas themed books known today. It was written during the industrial revolution in England. It was a dirty era and the plight of the poor was desperate. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly, cold-hearted owner of a London counting-house, continues his stingy, greedy ways on Christmas Eve. Later on that evening, Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during the next three nights. Scrooge has one last chance of redemption, he can either embrace the joy of Christmas or end up like his fellow dead business partner, according to the spirits. Dickens’ novella is not a religious telling of the story of Christmas, but it does talk about the ability of a person to transform one’s life by changing the way they treat their neighbor.
At the start of the book, Scrooge is portrayed as an unfeeling, cruel character which is shown when he tells the charity workers that if the poor would rather die than go to a workhouse, “then they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population”. Scrooge represents the Victorian rich who neglect the poor and think only of their own well-being. Pathetic fallacy is used to represent Scrooge’s change: In Stave One, the weather is described as being “Foggier yet, and colder. Piercing, searching, biting cold”. This represents how cold and iron-hearted Scrooge was at the beginning of the book. Repetition is another key technique used to dramatically describe scrooge’s character. A word repeated many times in the first few paragraphs is “dead” with this an instant negative mood is brought upon the reader. Dickens creates the sense that Scrooge was isolated, “Secret and self-contained, and as solitary as an oyster.” Scrooge would not even let a single penny slip through his hand, regardless of how wealthy he was. A miserly and mean character who only cares about money.
Described as a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!”In the final Stave, Scrooge has become a lot more emotional and charitable. You can see this as he uses more affectionate terms such as “my dear” and “my love” and as he says that “the time before him was his own, to make amends in!” when he wakes up. The spirits have really played a massive role in transforming his character. In Stave Five, the weather is “clear, bright, jovial” with “Golden sunlight”. This change in weather represents how Scrooge has become a lot kinder and more generous. This again, is an example of pathetic fallacy. Scrooge is a changed man. Here is a word repeated often in the last stave “chuckle”. This is a cheerful and enthusiastic word that fits in with scrooge’s new change of character. It makes the reader feel that scrooge is now a humorous person, which he never was before. He repents for all his previous sins by giving Bob a raise, atoning for his previous bitterness toward his clerk, he apologizes to the portly gentleman he meets on the street and pledges lavish contributions for his charity, where in Stave One he threw him out of his counting-house.
Scrooge also happily attends Fred’s party.In conclusion, the moral behind Christmas carol is that in a social divided community it is important to treat everyone with equality. This is shown through scrooge’s character, and how he treats people somewhat below him in the social hierarchy as a man quite high in society and how he treats them after he has been visited by the spirits. The moral is still of relevance to today’s world, although there is a large time difference between now and then there still are social divides throughout society. Dickens uses a variety of techniques to make this book have a great impact on the reader.
A Christmas Carol is closely linked with Dickens personal life. Dickens was poor and his parents spent time in workhouses. This book was written during the industrial revolution, the working world, especially a city like London, was becoming more mechanised, it seems that the goods of a man were slipping through the cracks as all the men were too busy working. This novella was written to remind all these men to focus on the right things, not get carried away and it’s never too late to change. [754 words]
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