Happiness and Fulfillment

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Dickens suggests that true happiness and fulfilment can only be found when one is generous to others. Discuss

The idea of happiness and fulfilment rising from generosity is a message present in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Dickens encourages and inspires his Victorian readers to change their views and support those around them, through generosity. Dickens emphasizes how generosity can lead to fulfilment and happiness through the construction of his novel. The prevalent concerns of life and death, isolation and togetherness and change allows Dickens to demonstrate to his readers the importance of generosity and seeing its effects on those around you.

Dickens creates contrasts in his characters to emphasise the importance of generosity and its effects. The Scrooge readers meet in stave one, a man “solitary as an oyster” and so cold “a chill does not affect him” leads readers to feel pessimistic towards Scrooge. His ill-treatment of Bob Cratchit and his cold, dark nature is then juxtaposed to that of the warm “lively” Fezziwig, Scrooge’s old employer. Fezziwig with his “Christmas party” and the generosity toward Scrooge and his other apprentice presents readers with the happiness brought about by magnanimous giving. Scrooge is longing to be a part of his memory once more with “his heart and soul in the scene.” The contrast of employee treatment allows Scrooge to see his skewed ways and allows readers to view how their generosity could lead to the happiness of others and a fulfilment of duty as an employer. The largest and most obvious character contrast is between the initial Scrooge and the final Scrooge. “Wheezing...” and almost machine-like Ebenezer Scrooge is loathed and on the outskirts of society, even the blind are seen as lucky for not having to “set eyes on evil himself”. However, Scrooge’s transformation and journey allows him to recognise his duty to others and how helping those around him such as the Cratchits and becoming “a second father to...
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