A Christmas Carol Essay Sample
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A Christmas Carol Essay Sample
The novel “A Christmas carol” was written in 1843 when celebrating Christmas was hard, by a famous author who goes by the name of Charles Dickens. A young man during that time who knew how to enjoy Christmas even when having to work in a warehouse and, watching his father being sentenced to prison for being poor and in debt. A man with a tough childhood but, unbelievable techniques when it came to language and writing. He was very depressed in the three months that he spent apart from his family. He disliked his job. Once he was released from prison, Charles went back to school, later becoming a law clerk.
At the age of 25, he completed his first novel and years later he wrote the very popular novel, A Christmas Carol. In this novel written by Dickens, his language is often over exaggerated and descriptive, Scrooge is the main character. A rich, cold hearted selfish man who feels no sympathy towards the poor and hates the time of Christmas. ‘What’s Christmas to you but a time for paying bills without money… every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas” on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.
He should! An old man who feels Christmas is a fraud. A character that only has a mind for money and thinks Christmas is a drug that addicts people into spending their savings on pathetic gifts and items. A character that feels paying tax is bad enough so giving charity is out of the question. ‘I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned-they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there. ‘
He despises the word charity. A man who believes poor people ought to be punished with death. If they would rather die,’ said Scrooge, they had better it, and decrease the surplus population. An evil man in people’s eyes and is also feared and hated by all of those that know him. Dickens also uses metaphors to describe Scrooge. ‘A frosty rime was on his head,’ ‘he carried his own low temperature’. This shows readers that Scrooge was foreign to human warmth. No one can stand to be in the presence of him just to avoid seeing his moody face and arrogant belief which is Christmas is a fraud and the poor deserve to die.
Scrooge represents one of many people that lived during that period of time who felt the same way Scrooge did. Dickens made Scrooge the way he did so he could make an effect on the attitude of people towards Christmas and the poor. He wanted people to feel sympathy towards the poor like the way he did because he had the experience of being poor. He wanted people to understand the outcome of people if they were similar to Scrooge which was cruelty, loneliness and selfishness.
In my opinion one of Dickens’s best techniques was his use of a lot of description just so that he could get his point across his readers. ‘Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts;’ Dickens wrote this to prove even animals were interpreted by the behaviour of Scrooge. This technique was used throughout the whole story and made a huge effect on me because it really made me understand Scrooges’ character and the effect he was making on the surroundings.
The whole book was very easy to understand because of Dickens’ description and this technique made the book seem more interesting to me. He also uses exaggeration when describing one of the scenes in the novel where Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas present are watching a definitely exaggerated scene of people out an about in the cities celebrating Christmas but, then showed another scene of a family known as the Cratchits who were pretty poor but were still celebrating Christmas in their homes, playing games, having fun and enjoying Christmas to its fullest.
This in my opinion was also another useful technique because it makes everything seem possible, which is why it was attracting more readers because it even made poor people seem good which must’ve made an impact on its readers. People were finding it difficult to celebrate Christmas because it was changing due to the industrial revolution. Once Oliver Cromwell the man people thought was doing more evil than good and, the man that banned Christmas during his role was no longer in power people were moving to cities causing the population to rise and were once again trying to celebrate Christmas.
Although many were struggling at first it began to get easier and people were finally celebrating Christmas once again due to the fact Dickens’s novel was allowing people to understand how to celebrate Christmas. Dickens encouraged many to once again celebrate Christmas but in a new way, the way the Cratchit family were celebrating it. This is why nowadays people tend to celebrate Christmas in their homes with their immediate family. This was just a few of many techniques Dickens used in his novel to change the attitude of people towards Christmas and the poor.
Throughout the story he wanted people to feel for the poor and Christmas, he made this clear by using a character in the book as a mouthpiece. This character was a gentleman who was helping the charity and was trying to make Christmas better for poor people. That’s the attitude Dickens wanted to make happen by using a mouthpiece. He wanted people to make life better for the poor and allow them to have a Merry Christmas. In the novel Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his dead friend Marley. Marley lived a terrible life and so had to face a terrible fate.
His spirit was not allowed to rest in peace because he had the same intentions as Scrooge which was money. His spirit was chained with many objects that had to do with money and greed. For his spirit to be freed so it could rest in peace Marley needed to make sure Scrooge changed his selfish attitude before he too would face the same fate as Marley and the both of them would never be given the second chance to change their fate and that the spirit of both of them would be chained forever however Scrooges would be longer and heavier because he would lived for a longer period of time.
Each link and item of the chain symbolised each act of selfishness and greed. Marley gave Scrooge three warnings which were Marley’s spirit would not be given the chance to rest unless Scrooge would overcome his fate. The second of the two warnings was that Scrooge would have to change his selfish attitude and not just care for himself if he did not want to face the same fate as Marley but twice as bad, and the last of the three warnings was that Scrooge would come across three spirits.
After the visit from his best friend Marley Scrooge tries to forget this meeting but then is shocked to see the presence of the ghost of Christmas past. A very gentle and peaceful looking spirit that glows in white and seems more like an angel than a ghost. She shows Scrooge flashbacks of his life and things he never managed to see. He is shown a terrible memory in his childhood days. He is shown him as a child alone in his boarding school. Lonely and feeling depressed. Scrooge feels very neglected and upset while seeing this scene. Scrooge……… wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be”.
This scene was shown to Scrooge so he could understand why he’s so individual and selfish and why he likes to keep him to himself. He never had many people caring for him when he was young which is why he never cares for people around him. He never got to go home for Christmas which is why he disliked it when he grew up. He had bad memories when it came to Christmas. He is next shown scenes of him being alone on Christmas with his only friend Ali Baba who meant a lot to him.
He is very excited about this scene because it shows him with his only imaginary friend during Christmas in which he never got to go home. ‘Laughing’ ‘excited face’. Once seeing these scenes he remembers not giving money to the charity workers including a little boy reminding him of his poor self. He feels regretful about not giving money to the charity workers. ‘I should like to have given them something’. This proves he is beginning to change. Dickens in this part tries to show no matter how wealthy you are you should always care for the poor.
The next scene he is shown is him a bit older enjoying a party hosted by Fezziwig. The first party that occurred on Christmas that he was involved in. A party he felt was fantastic. ‘There were more dances… great piece of Cold Boiled. ‘ He also felt the old man Fezziwig was a great guy even though the spirit of Christmas Past makes Scrooge wonder whether Fezziwig deserved the praise he was given. Whether he deserved the gratitude he was given. Scrooge is angered by what the spirit says and reacts in a heated way.
He feels even though Fezziwig only spent a few pounds he still made everyone happy. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. To Scrooge it doesn’t matter how much Fezziwig spends the happiness he gives is countless. ‘The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune. ‘ Dickens tries to make his readers appreciate the people that make Christmas happy, which is why Scrooge after seeing this feels guilty for making his clerks work difficult as well as spoil his Christmas. ‘No I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. That’s all. ‘ Mr Feeziwig is in total contrast to Scrooge.
He is the one that creates a more warm and positive atmosphere with his wealth whereas Scrooge who is totally opposite creates a more cold and negative atmosphere. Fezziwig, who was more involved in the Christmas spirit, gave his employees and local residents a Christmas party to remember whereas Scrooge didn’t even give his employees a day off on Christmas day. You can easily see the contrast between Scrooge and Fezziwig. This scene makes Scrooge realise hat his approach to life is harsh and cruel.
You can tell by the way Scrooge reacts to what the spirit says. oh how stupid, look at him sharing his money” and Scrooge replies “no, no it’s wonderful”. This scene was used in the book to allow Scrooge as well as the books readers understand that you should always take the opportunity to make people happy and never take anything for granted. Fezziwig had wealth but still managed to spread happiness which is why Dickens used him to get his point across his readers. The first of the final two scenes he is shown is a flashback of him and his ex girlfriend breaking up.
He is reluctant to see this scene because it proved how much he was in love with money and the greed over it. No more! Cried Scrooge” His ex-fionce left him because he was in love with money more than her. She was second to his money. He was a very obsessive man. He had only thought on mind and that was money. Like the old saying goes money can’t buy you love. The final depressing scene the ghost of Christmas past shows to Scrooge is a flashback of his ex-fionce and her new loving husband and their kids. He does not want to see this scene either. He feels upset about this scene. ‘Remove me from this place. ‘ He can be jealous at times and knows he could’ve been the man standing by Belle’s side instead of her new husband.
The ghost showed Scrooge all the possible things he could’ve had if Scrooge didn’t become so into money and greed. He could’ve had a fantastic business with friends, a loving family with a wife who would care for him so much. A terrific man he could’ve been if he didn’t turn into an evil, cold hearted, selfish independent man. A man who had no pity for the poor and, disbelieved the time of Christmas. He could have been the completely opposite to what he is now and might’ve lived a good life. He is later visited by the second spirit, The Ghost of Christmas Present. A giant spirit with a jolly like personality.
He still has a point to show Scrooge but unlike the other ghost seems more happy and pleased to show it. The first scene this spirit shows to Scrooge is a scene of many people enjoying their Christmas and people enjoying the outside life of winter. A warm scene that even caused Scrooge to have joyful emotions running through his veins. This was a very descriptive and sentimental scene which was another technique Dickens used. Dickens tried to show the perfect Christmas which was joyful people and delicious food displayed in the street. A happy time Christmas was supposed to be according to Dickens.
This was a great technique Dickens used to make his readers feel warm and happy about Christmas when reading this scene. The next scene the spirit shows Scrooge is a scene where the Cratchit family are celebrating their Christmas in their home. They are wearing poor clothes but making the best out of them. “… dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence;” They have not got the most enriching food and the clothes they are wearing are not that expensive but are still trying to celebrate this special occasion to its best.
They then eventually make a toast for Scrooge for giving them these benefits but then suddenly the atmosphere becomes moody and dark for a few minutes. Everything goes back to normal and the family continue with their celebration. Dickens’s message here was that you don’t need money to be happy. Tiny Tim one of the many sons of Bob Cratchit is then mentioned. A young, kind hearted boy. “As good as gold. ” A young boy on crutches but still trying to fight it. A boy on the verge of death according to the spirit unless, Tiny Tim’s shadows are removed.
These shadows represent the lack of money for his operation. Scrooge reacts in a shocked way and gets scared after hearing this. He cares for Tiny Tim and wants his life spared. ‘No, no said Scrooge. ‘Oh, no, kind Spirit! Say he will be spared. ‘ The spirit then repeats “if he be like to die” to Scrooge. Scrooge is then gob smacked after hearing the repetition of these words and is then full of pertinence and grief. He now feels he is responsible for the outcome of Tiny Tim and now feels some pity for the poor because the lack of money the Cratchit family are receiving is because of Scrooge.
Scrooge is not giving a high enough salary to Bob Cratchit and now that is affecting his family. He now feels a bit more for the poor. Tiny Tim is used as a character in this book very well. A young kind hearted boy that represents Scrooge when he was young. A poor and happy child with a big heart just like Scrooge. Even with a disability he was still cheerful and happy which once again Dickens intended to do because he wanted people to understand that you can be happy no matter what the situation is. Dickens made his readers feel sympathy for the poor Tiny Tim with the language the character used. God bless us everyone! ‘ A young child with a disability as well as a kind loving heart. Again Dickens wanted his readers to remember to fell sympathy for the poor. The final scene Scrooge is shown is a scene of Scrooge’s nephew, niece, friends and family enjoying a Christmas party in which Scrooge was invited but rejected. There all playing games and Fred who is Scrooge’s nephew wishes his uncle Scrooge came to the party. Scrooge is enjoying this scene to and does not want to leave. ‘Here is a new game,’ said Scrooge. ‘One half hour, Spirit, only one! ‘ Scrooge is now being entertained by the party.
Fred proposes to drink to Scrooge’s health. ‘and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health. This proves to Scrooge that there is someone else other than himself that also cares for him. At the end of the journey the Ghost of Christmas present shows Scrooge something that strikes Scrooge like an electric shock. The ghost shows Scrooge two very hideous, frightful and wretched children that represent doom and belong to man’s. All those that deny them bide their doom. The boy’s name is Ignorance and the girls name is Want. The ghost claims the boy should be most feared because his brow represents doom.
Scrooge screams other ways to stop these inhuman children. ‘Are there no prisons? ‘ however the ghost leaves Scrooge to find the answer to stopping these children himself by leaving Scrooge stranded in the middle of nowhere on the stroke of Midnight and leaves him to face the next ghost, the ghost of Christmas future. The plight of the poor and other social issues was the main discussion in the 1840s. This is mentioned when the Ghost of Christmas present mentions “Man’s children,” which readers symbolised as children being born in a new industry.