A Christmas Carol vs. The Industrial Revolution
Almost all of America has some point on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day sat down in front of the TV and watched A Christmas Carol on one of the local channels. It’s like a tradition at my house and probably is at many other households as well. Charles Dickens created the modern Christmas, the Christmas we all know and celebrate today. When we watch the movie or read his book, people mainly focus on the story of Christmas and how Dickens creates that image in our head. One major story we miss by just thinking about the Christmas season is what the economy and society was like during his lifetime. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol after the British government changed the welfare system with the “New Poor Laws”. These laws mandated welfare claimants to perform work such as treadmills and to live in workhouses. Another hardship during this time was the use of child labor for work in many factories and mines. Dickens’ novel personified the industrial revolution in a story with characters. This novel suggests two questions; what were people’s views of society during the revolution and what can be done about it?
Dickens’ was in utter disgust of the lifestyle conditions for the working class. He portrays how the quality of life is complete polar opposites between the upper class and lower class in his diction. The well-to-do citizens live contented with their big pockets behind them, either holding a high position at a company or simply from inheritances. The working class, on the other hand, lives on edge with the stress of not knowing whether or not they will have enough money to put food on the table for their families each night. Dickens’ main character, Scrooge, symbolized the ignorance owners and managers of big companies had towards their employees’ well-being. Scrooge, like the managers, believe that because they are “big time” and make a lot of money, they can judge the poor instead of offering...
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