A Christmas Carol – Summary
Not because workhouses were helping the poor it was more of a punishment. Scrooge was ignorant in the fact that he believed the conditions the poor lived in were self-inflicted, ‘I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there’ he believes they are uneducated and lazy so they deserve it. However in reality most people if given the opportunity and education would try to alleviate the quality of their lives.
The Cratchit’s symbolize happiness in the story, but when they show tiny Tim dying in the future it touches many hearts. This is because his illness is curable if the Cratchit family did not have financial difficulties. The reason Dickens includes this in the story is to show how ignorant the rich people were to the poor and also to show how many poor families were going through the same scenario in real life. During the 1830s more than half the deaths were child-related.
Moreover, Dickens wanted to irradiate a false sense of scrutiny held by most wealthy people that they were doing enough to help the poor when in reality they were not ‘a few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund, buy the poor people some meat and drinks, and means of warmth we choose this time of year because it is a time of all others’. This suggests they only help once a year. If so then they are not doing enough to help the poor and should try to consider helping them through out the year, because that would make more of a difference.
Especially in this period of time because the Victorian era was when industrial businesses really began to start and also child labor. Dickens wanted his book to leave an impact on people and he did achieve his goal. As one person in America read it and gave all his workers a pay rise, and so did many others. The novel a Christmas Carol helped irradiate the ignorance of the rich community about the poverty-stricken condition of the poor and encouraged the rich to give more monetary charity regularly.
A Christmas Carol demonstrates fairytale qualities to engage with the audience, for instance, at the end there is a happy-ever-after. Where the bitter self absorbed Scrooge redeems himself by helping the poor and builds a loving relationship with tiny Tim and his family. ‘I’ll raise your salary,’ ‘and to tiny Tim, who did NOT die. He became a second father. ’ This is on the very last page, and the story ends very lightheartedly similar to other fairytales. Also Scrooge changes he becomes a better person, this is done by his own actions.
Charles Dickens used religion to engage with the audience because he knew how at that period people were very superstitious and religious and believed in ghosts ‘under the impression that they scarcely furnish a Christian cheer’ ‘god bless it’ . When Jacob Marley comes as a ghost, to show Scrooge consequences of life after death with chains hanging from his body to symbolize the sins he has committed. The Victorians believed very much in life after death and if you were good you would go to paradise and if you were bad you would suffer after death.
Dickens emphasizes religion to connect with the audience, and he believed it was the best way to get his message across. In conclusion a Christmas Carol was written as a fairytale with an moral lesson behind it. The message Dickens is trying to put across is that ‘money cannot buy you happiness’ also was to highlight to the public that as a community they were not alleviating the plight of poor people enough. I think this is because they show Scrooge’s clerk cheerful and happy however he is underprivileged and they show Scrooge who is wealthy however a petulant and miserable man.
The reason being was because this genre would influence Dickens audience most. Also it has a happy ending as Scrooge has changed from a cold individual to a caring and giving person toward the poor. Scrooge rectifies his way at the end so subsequently he will not suffer. Also scrooge has become a happier man within himself and not only to other people. Finally Dickens has represented a Christmas Carol as an enjoyable read with a significant message behind it.