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Charles Dickens - a Christmas Carol

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Charles Dickens believed it was up to him to inform the people of Britain of the social problems occurring around Britain. While Dickens was a young man, he suffered from poverty along with his mother and father. His father was imprisoned for dept and Charles wanted to become a social reformer. Dickens used these problems as themes for his book Ð''A Christmas Carol'. These themes involve poverty, pollution and a changing of ways. Dickens used Scrooge, the main character in the book at first to show how current society was at the time and then at the end, after the visits from the three ghosts, how the society could be. At the start of the book Scrooge is anti-social, greedy and extremely selfish. I believe this is how Britain was at the time. Then, after the visits from the three ghosts scrooge changed and I think that that is what Dickens wanted Britain to do.

The first of the three spirits is the ghost of Christmas past. It had the body of someone elderly, but was surprisingly youthful and powerful. The ghost is described as Ð''a strange figure- like a child; yet not so much like a child as like an old man'. It held a brimmed cap, evidently an extinguisher for its head, from which jetted a clear, pure stream of light. This stream of light symbolises that Christmas is a happy time and should be full of light and joy. On the other hand, the extinguisher cap that the spirit was holding was made by people like Scrooge, who use the cap to hide the light of Christmas.

The second spirit is the ghost of Christmas Present. It is a great giant, dressed in a green and surrounded by piles of food. The spirit has a garment, which hangs loosely on him that shows his capacious breast. I believe that this is supposed to show how free and open the spirit is. Another similarity to his openness is his hair. This is described as, Ð''dark-brown curls were long and free' this makes the spirit seem to be totally natural and genuine. The spirit is made to seem kind and cheerful. There are a few phrases suggesting this such as, Ð''its open hand', also it is portrayed as having an antique scabbard with no sword in it which shows that the spirit wanted peace. This proves the spirit is gentle and caring.

The third of the three spirits is the spirit of Christmas past. The spirit is described very little; I think this is because Dickens wanted to keep it mysterious, as he did not know what the future would be like. The spirit is made approach scrooge scarily Ð''slowly, gravely silently approached'. The spirit does not speak which again adds to its mysteriousness. I do not think the spirit speaks because it wants to keep us guessing on what or who it is.

Charles Dickens uses description in Ð''A Christmas Carol' to help get across some of his ideas. Firstly, he uses lots of description whilst talking about the potatoes, which are cooking in the Cratchit household. He used the phrase "the slow potatoes bubbling up, knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled." This makes something relatively boring like some potatoes boiling in water into something full of life. This is also personification. Dickens has the ability to make the most normal things seem interesting e.g. whilst he is describing the Cratchet's cooking he says "with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top." By Dickens describing this in so much detail, he emphasises how exquisite the whole pudding looks.

Dickens uses a lot of adjectives in a row to describe Ignorance and Want. All of these portray how scary the children are and how they are to be taken seriously. Dickens used "Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish" each of these words gives off a negative feeling that really



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