Discuss how dickens uses “A Christmas Carol,” and the character of scrooge to promote a more caring, less selfish society.
In the 19th century, the poor people faced a very atrocious and frightful life in London. They starved if they had no jobs and had nowhere to live except for streets which were filthy and filled with crime. There was a poor law, as there weren’t even state benefits and if someone couldn’t pay the rent for the room they were given to stay in they were moved to union workhouses or prisons, which they unfortunately died in. Dickens uses these them of poor and rich in his novel through the character of scrooge to show people are just for the greed of money and how they can change, which puts quite a truthful moral to this novel.
Our first impression of scrooge shows us that he is grasping and covetous, rich but penny pinching, selfish and ignorant; warning all human sympathy to keep its distance. He has a poor attitude towards the poor and thinks Christmas is stupid as well as a waste of money and time. “What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money? A time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer.” This indicates to us that he has no sympathy for the poor he thinks they put up an act at this time of the year just to make money also he frustrated by this whole concept of Christmas as he can’t make money because everyone is busy with their family and he thinks its stupid. His nephew comes to invite him over for dinner and he totally ignores what his nephew is saying, “I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?” “Good afternoon,” said scrooge.
We can see that he is very selfish and don’t care about anyone and doesn’t want to waste his time celebrating as he could be making money at this time instead of wasting it, which makes him very greedy and shows us he has no heart. He also suggests for them to go to the union workhouses as he already knows many die there, “The union workhouses? Demanded scrooge are they still in operation?” He wishes bad for the poor in every way he could as he comes up with this idea which is quite sad towards the poor and shows such cheap behaviour.
Stave 1 we see Jacob Marley’s ghost) his business partner who dies seven Christmas eves ago) he comes to visit scrooge to warn him that he still has a chance and hope of escaping the fate that Marley has had and that he will be visited by three spirits, “You will be haunted,” resumed the ghost, “by the three spirits.” These three spirits will be past, present and future that will show him these 3 stages of his life and will indicate to him how to change his fate before it’s too late. Around Marley’s ghost there is chains and metal which are the weight of coil he has to carry now that he’s dead to pay for his sins, scrooge will also have the same as scrooge is the same as Marley, “the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this seven Christmas eves ago, you have laboured on it since it is a ponderous chain.”
This means scrooge’s chain has forged since and is much heavier, which indicates he will have no rest or peace but incessant torture of remorse, if he don’t clean up his act.
Stave 2 we see the first of the two spirits (spirit of the past) who shows him his childhood, him as a boy in his boarding school. Seeing his classmates brings him to tears, and he starts to regret that he did not give anything to the boy who sang a carol at the counting house door earlier that evening. They then move onto a scene where fezziwig, scrooge’s old employer has given them a Christmas party n everyone is enjoying, the ghost asks scrooge, “Why! Is it not? He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three Or four, perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise?” Scrooge starts explaining how his power lies in his words and in things so slight and insignificant that is impossible to count up and the...
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