Charles Dickens, the author, had a true sense of passion towards the poor as he came from humble beginnings. The novel shows a clear contrast between both the rich and the poor, the poor were portrayed as very disordered and barbaric whereas the rich were painted as being ordered, pleasant and extravagant.
A connection can be established with the 21st century with these comparisons in mind. It has relevance due to the way society is shaped today, many classes today exist.
Dickens did not write a cliched moral fable without relevance to the 21st century it is clear that he wanted the themes and messages to be able to be passed through the generations and then shape the way people act in society today. Charles Dickens displays to the audience that true happiness comes through joining in with humanity and community. Marley appears to Scrooge as unhappy and wearing a heavy burden, which is represented by the chains.
The chains display the life Jacob Marley had lived, being, a cold and heartless, he did not participate in anything that would not benefit him solely, good deeds were never done. Many characters like Jacob Marley exist in the 21st Century, they are generally unhappy and do not live long, productive lives. Good deeds must be done to be granted real happiness and this is also a clear message that is consistent throughout the text. The 21st century is becoming a mirror of the 19th.
The 19th century, due to rapidly expanding industrialization, saw an appalling rise in poverty, and the exploitation of poor children, who were often forced to work in the rapidly expanding factories. Today this is happening all over the world and especially in developing countries. Charles Dickens wrote this novel at the beginning of the Hungry Forties, this being a period of intense suffering for the working classes.
Dickens sought to make his comfortable middle-class readers aware of the appalling poverty around them. Set in the s on Christmas Eve, A Christmas Carol chronicles the personal transformation of the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, the proprietor of a London counting house.
A wealthy, elderly man, Scrooge is considered miserly and misanthropic: Moreover, Scrooge is a strong supporter of the Poor Law of , which allowed the poor to be interned in workhouses. As he prepares for bed on Christmas Eve in his solitary, dark chambers, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley. In life Marley was very similar in attitude and temperament to Scrooge: In death he has learned the value of compassion and warns Scrooge to reform his ways before it is too late.
Marley announces that Scrooge will be visited by three more specters: The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to his unhappy childhood, revealing that the young boy's experiences with poverty and abandonment inspired a desire to succeed and gain material advantage.
The Ghost of Christmas Present is represented by a hearty, genial man who reminds Scrooge of the joy of human companionship, which he has rejected in favor of his misanthropic existence.
Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appears in a dark robe and shrouded in mystery. Silently, the ghost reveals the ambivalent reaction to news of Scrooge's own death. Scrooge realizes that he will die alone and without love, and that he has the power and money to help those around him—especially Bob Cratchit's ailing son, Tiny Tim. Scrooge begs the ghost for another chance and wakes in his bed on Christmas morning, resolved to changing his life by being generous and loving to his family, employees, and the poor.
A Christmas Carol has been deemed a biting piece of social commentary by some. Critics have underscored the scathing criticism of s London, an economically and socially stratified city that Dickens believed imprisoned its poor and oppressed its lower classes. The prevailing socio-economic theory of that time held that anyone who was in debt should be put in a poorhouse. In his story, Dickens contended that the reformation of such a materialistic, shallow society can be achieved gradually through the spiritual transformation of each individual.
The story is well regarded for its expression of a fundamental faith in humanity and its unflagging censure of social injustice, which was inspired by Dickens's troubled background and his visit to the Cornish tin mines where he observed young children laboring under appalling conditions. As Scrooge transforms from a cruel, embittered miser to a kindly philanthropist, Dickens advocates a more forgiving, generous society that values spiritual growth, not material wealth.
Other major thematic concerns in A Christmas Carol include the role of memory, the importance of family, and the soul-deadening effect of greed on the human spirit. Upon its initial publication, A Christmas Carol was greeted with mixed reviews.
Some commentators derided the tale as too sentimental and laden with exaggeration; other critics maintained that A Christmas Carol lacked the complexity of Dickens's later work.
Yet the novella remains a Christmas favorite. Commentators praise Dickens's evocative portrayal of s London and his passionate exploration of social and political issues. Dickens's fervent belief in social justice as depicted through A Christmas Carol is credited with inspiring an outpouring of charitable endeavors during his time and a revival of Christmas spirit and traditional celebrations.
Critics have also explored the fairy-tale and gothic elements in A Christmas Carol, and many praise Dickens's use of wry humor in the story. The relevance and power of Scrooge's transformation from forlorn old niggard to benignant philanthropist is regarded as the key to the novella's unflagging popular appeal.
Scrooge's metanoia has also been placed within its historical and literary context, and critics have related it to the religious revival then fervent in nineteenth-century England. A few full-length studies of the novella have traced the impact of the story on English and American culture and have discussed the copious imitations, adaptations, and modernized versions of the tale.
Selected and Edited with Introductory Notes, by R. Everyone knows Dickens's Christmas Carol for its colorful painting of a rosy fireside good cheer and warmth of feeling, made all the more vivid by the contrasting chill wintry darkness in which its radiant scenes are framed.
Most readers realize too how characteristic of all Dickens's sentiments about My purpose was, in a whimsical kind of masque which the good humour of the season justified, to awaken some loving and forbearing thoughts, never out of season in a Christian land. I have the happiness of believing that I did not wholly miss it. A Christmas Carol remains the most popular work of England's most popular novelist, and it has had something of a life of its own beyond its author's reputation.
Should all of Charles Dickens' marvelous creations, from Mr. Pickwick to Edwin Drood, be suddenly threatened with extinction, the story of Mr. Scrooge would certainly survive Dickens wrote five Christmas books: The worlds of dreams and nightmares, madmen and children were areas of human experience which had hitherto been all too often ignored or even denied.
Their recognition helped to open up a new view of the human mind in which conventional distinctions between aesthetics A Christmas Carol is a permanent fixture in Western literature and popular culture, if only because it is retold at Christmas-time annually. As a morality tale it is a favorite of all age groups, not only because of its sincerity but due also to its emotional appeal.
In A Christmas Carol, an allegory of spiritual values versus material ones, Charles Dickens shows Scrooge having to learn the lesson of the spirit of Christmas, facing the reality of his own.
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A Christmas Carol, although it is of a different time period still today teaches valuable lessons. In the story, Ebeneezer Scrooge begins by having no feelings for anything or anybody. In the end, he changes from his gloomy, dark self. Charles Dickens expresses through a Christmas Carol that /5(10). Essays and criticism on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol - A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.
A Christmas Carol Essay. Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is a morality tale of a selfish and bitter Ebenezer Scrooge and his visits from 3 spirits representing his past, present and future, bringing him into a complete change of character and reconciliation for his wrongs. Starting an essay on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol? Organize your thoughts and more at our handy-dandy Shmoop Writing Lab.