This sample paper on Christmas Carol Themes offers a framework of relevant facts based on recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body, and conclusion of the paper below.
A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens in the mid nineteenth century depicting the social and economic life of the working people in London. The appalling conditions under which the people had to work is in sharp contrast with the ways the rich people lived in luxury. Most of the people, especially the poor, lived in a rejected environment and had to work long hours with little wages, thus enduring hardship.
Children, as young as six, are made to work in order to support their families expenses. Although the rich people had a lot of money, they did not help the poor.
They thought that people became poor because they were lazy and did not do enough work. Dickens chose to call his story a song because of the Christmas hymn, ‘Tis season to be jolly.
‘ He wants us to remember the poor by giving and sharing in the special time of Christmas. He wants to express the spirit of Christmas from a Christian’s point of view. This includes hymns and charities as well as remembering the joyful time about the birth of Jesus Christ. Also, he wants us to know the meaning of true Christmas. Finally, Dickens chose the Christmas setting for his novel to help us explore the character of Scrooge.
The novel consists of staves instead of chapters (a stave is a musical score).
The different staves are like parts of the tune, which makes up the whole song, and the book is the ‘song. ‘ This might be another reason why he chose this title. STAVE ONE, MARLEY’S GHOST The main character in this book is called Ebenezer Scrooge. In the beginning of the book, this character arouses a curious ambiguity in the reader’s response towards him. In stave one itself, the writer promptly describes him as ‘a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge!
A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. ‘ His attitude is so bad that ‘Even the blindmen’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, will tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then will wag their tails as though they said, ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master! ” This cold-blooded, miserly, rude, greedy and extremely selfish old man works in a counting house in London.
Although he is rich, he is very tight with his money. He pays his employee, Bob Crachit, little wages and leaves the latter shivering in his office because he refuses to spend money on coal for a fire on anyone except himself. Moreover, he hates Christmas. Because of this, he is reluctant to give Mr Crachit a day off for Christmas. It shows how callous he is in ignoring basic rights for workers. He is also rude to his nephew, who comes to invite him to a Christmas dinner party. Scrooge refuses the invitation and calls Christmas a ‘humbug.
‘ He then forces his nephew out of his office. His attitude towards the poor is also repulsive. He has no consideration for them. He treats them as a dozen of lazy people and wonders why he should provide for them. Scrooge looks down upon the charity collectors because he simply states that the poor should die because they are simply useless to the world. He argues that prisons are the only ‘charities’ he cares to. Through Scrooge’s implicit defense of the poor laws, Dickens dismisses the excuses of the indifferent upper class as irresponsible, selfish and cruel.
Dickens has used both simple and sophisticated language to present and develop Scrooge’s character. He uses anti-Christian terms whenever he has Scrooge speaking. For instance, he spits out an angry word ‘Bah Humbug,’ in response to his nephew’s sincere ‘merry Christmas. ‘ Also, when he enters his apartment after seeing Marley’s ghost on the door knocker, he says, a disgusted ‘Pooh-pooh! ‘ Even before the arrival of Marley’s ghost, the atmosphere is fairly tense. Dickens describes Scrooge as a thoroughly unhappy person. Scrooge ‘took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern.
‘ This means that Scrooge is already in a low spirit. Scrooge then passes the yard, which the writer describes as, ‘so dark, that even Scrooge who knew its every stone was afraid to grope with his hands,’ he then approaches the door of his apartment; there he suddenly comes face to face with Marley. At first, he could not believe his eyes and thinks it is some kind of hallucination. Can it really be Marley? But he is not ‘dead as a door nail. ‘ When he enters his house, he checks the back of the door knocker, but could not find anything, apart from the bolts that held the door knocker in place.
He shakes his head and runs up the stairs. He double locks his door to his room and is about to take the gruel for his cold. When, at that moment, he senses a chill blowing through the rooms and the papers start to fly around. His apartment is described as a ‘gloomy suite of rooms’ which are ‘old’ and ‘dreary. ‘ The wind gets stronger, the clock strikes and the disused bell rings. The door to his room flings open, Marley’s ghost, dressed in chains, appears and stood in front of him. Instantly, Scrooge receives a terrific shock and he screams.
He kneels down before Marley and wants to know what the deceased has come here for. The arrival of Marley’s ghost may scare young readers, but it definitely makes us realise that material wealth is not everything on earth, because it helps to increase our burden in the life thereafter, ( the life to come after resurrection ). This gives Scrooge a sense of realisation about his bad nature and persuades him to make a change before it is too late. Although Scrooge is dumbfounded with fear, this visit makes him think back of all the bad things he has done to the community.