AQA English Literature - A Christmas Carol Themes

  • Created by: niambbii
  • Created on: 22-01-17 11:58

Christmas and The Christmas Spirit.

Christmas bring out the best in people. Throughout A Christmas Carol, Christmas is presented as a time when people show generosity, charity, kindness and goodwill to others.- "open their shut-up hearts freely", Fred. The Christmas Spirit is seen in the Poor as well as the Rich, the Cratchits celebrate christmas as well as they can, even though they don't have enough food for everyone, , as long as the whole family is together it doesn't matter which reinforces the idea that Christmas is a time for family to be together, as exemplified by Bob's relief when he finds out that Martha is coming home for Christmas. 

Fred also encompasses the spirit of Christmas, he refers to Christmas as a "kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time" that brings out the best in people, and hopes that Scrooge will embrace Christmas too. The Ghost of Christmas Present, with its "cheery voice" and "joyful air", personifies many of the values associated with Christmas - it uses its torch to restore "good humour" to anyone who is arguing.

The Christmas spirit involves generosity and kindness. Many of the characters view Christmas as a time to help those less fortunate than themselves. The charity collectors refer to Christmas as a time when "Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices". They're trying to provide some "Christian cheer" at a time when poverty was made most obvious by the excesses enjoyed by the wealthy. This can also link in to Dickens criticism of Thomas Malthus' ideas.

Fred thinks that Christmas is a time when all of humanity, rich and poor, shoud unite and help each other, rather than carrying on with their business as isolated individuals, "to think of people them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave"-Fred. By contrast Scrooge sees Christmas in purely monetary terms, He questions how Fred can be merry at Christmas when he is "poor enough"- this shows that Scrooge links happiness to money even though it doesn't bring him joy. Fred on the other hand thinks that Scrooge's money has no use to him.

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Scrooges redemption is the main focus of the text. For Scrooge to achieve redemption, he needs to give up his mean and miserly ways. Whether or not Scrooge will achieve redemption is a source of dramtic tension throughout the novel is a source of dramatic tension. Scrooge is first portrayed as a misanthropist through his attitude to charity. Throughout the novella we are unsure if Scrooge will change because even he admits that he may be "past all hope" but once he is free of the ghost he makes an effort to change his ways. Dickens is arguing that even the very worst in society can find redemption but they must choose to change their ways.- Marley admits that his chains were forged from his own "free will" because he chose not to change his miserly ways when he was alive.

There are hints that Scrooge will be redeemed. The visions he is shown show the reader that he wasn't always so mean-spirited. The relationships he had with Fan and Belle show that Scrooge is capable of showing love and kindness and suggest that he can show them again. They also prove that at some point money wasn't so important to him. The change in Scrooges father hints at his own redemption. Also because Marley, who was very similar to Scrooge, helped him get the chance to change it could show that Scrooge is capable of changing.


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Social Responsibility and Poverty

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Family and The Home

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Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness

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Christmas and The Christmas Spirit cont.

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Redemption cont.

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why do the first two pages only show up?



One star because only two pages are complete and it has all been copied from the CGP revision guide.

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