A christmas carol : themes and context

  • Created by: k.amila
  • Created on: 26-01-20 11:04

Social responsibility

In Victorian England there were great contrasts between the wealthy and the poor . Rich people were able to gain from the industrial revolution, whilst the lower class people were starving and being ignored by those able to help . 1834  - poor law amendment act was passed .This act introduced a system of workhouses designed to take the place of poor relief through private charities or public donations .Dickens was critical of this system and ridicules it in many of his novellas .We see Scrooge asking the charity collectors "Are there no workhouses?".He represents the viewpoint  of many wealthy victorians, that the poor was lazy and this was the reason for their poverty.Through his portrayal of the Cratchit family , Dickens is able to show that these hardworking people could be caught in the poverty trap . Marley tells Scrooge " the common welfare was my bussiness "  as he warns him that he must help before it is too late . The ghost of christmas presents " ignorance and want " act as a warning to society of what will happen if we do not accept our responsibilities towards the poor.

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As the christmas preparations began , Dickens saw the suspions wealthy people had towards the poor fading .In a christmas carol we are shown charity collectors gathering donations for the poor , family parties and work place parties .Dickens desrcibes Christmas in a series of locations , all showing warmth and generosity of the season with time spent with loved ones .Dickens sets the events within the christmas period because they represent a time where we should be generous towards each other .His positive depiction of christmas is embodied by Fred , the Cratchit family and Fezziwig . Scrooges "humbug" reaction to the festival is representing as needing to change , as we know he later made amends and achieved redemption .The novellas title refers to being a hymn sung at christmas time .The chapters are referred to as staves to reflect musical notations , there are five horizontal lines in a stave as there are five staves in the novella

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Redemption- being freed from sin , error or evil . Through the structure of the narrative Dickens presents Scrooges journey towards redemption .At the start of the novella he is presented as a miserly , cold character who is rudely seen rejecting all opportunities for family warmth and love , remaining on the fringes of society at christmas time . Scrooge is subjected to a series of trails where he is shown the impact of his thinking and behaviour by the ghosts.He escapes the eternity of torment by embracing the spirit responsibility of Christmas and its values by tranforming his beliefs to accept the responsibility for those in society who need his help . Dickens shows the readers that if Scrooge can change anyone can .

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