A Christmas Carol Essay
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We see that Scrooge can’t handle revisiting this memory and he begs the spirit to show him no more. The spirit then shows Scrooge a snippet of Belle’s family life with her beautiful daughter and husband surrounded by children. He is envious of them for although they are not as rich as he, they have a family. This illustrates how important family life was in the period and how close they were. **** Scrooge then returns home and next meets the Ghost of Christmas Present who is a large man draped in a green cloak.
They visit Bob Cratchit’s house who have prepared a goose for their Christmas meal.
Although they live in a small house and are relatively poor with threadbare clothes they are all joyous and are very thankful for their meal, even to Scrooge for supplying them with it. Cratchit’s son Tim is a ‘cripple’ and is weak and frail. Scrooge is concerned for the well-being of him and the spirit repeats his own words to him and tells him he doesn’t know ‘what the surplus is, and where it is. ‘ This tells us about conditions in the period and how medication and care were not readily available, especially for the poor.
Scrooge is presented to Ignorance and Want and he is told he must beware of them, especially Ignorance for ‘on his brow he sees which is written is doom. ‘ He again his own words repeated to him for which he feels great shame. This again indirectly sends a message to the reader to make sure they don’t fall into the same traps that Scrooge has. In the next stave the Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge scenes of people talking about a rich man who has died. It is unclear at first about whom they are talking about, but he is portrayed as being rather disliked and no feelings of loss is shown by any of them.
We later discover at Scrooge’s grave that it is in fact he who has died but even his maids and housekeepers do not mourn for him. They do however steal from his house, and pawn them. They don’t feel any guilt stealing from a dead man and even take the shirt off his back. This shows us not only the lack of grief his workers have towards him but also the desperate measure the poor would have gone to in order to get a bit of extra money, again demonstrating the conditions of the nineteenth century.
He also visits the Cratchit’s house where they are getting prepared for a funeral and are mourning greatly. However, it is not Scrooge’s death they are mourning, but Tiny Tim’s. This again shows the harsh conditions at the time which would lead to death at such a young age as that. Scrooge is shaken by what he sees and is determined to change the future. In the last stave we see Scrooge as a role model to the middle class. He wakes up on the next day and the sun is shining, symbolising that the light now reaches him.
He is unsure of the day and asks a passing boy what day it is only to discover that it is Christmas day. He pays the boy to go to the poulterer and buy the prize turkey for the Cratchit’s to replace the goose they had before. He also speaks to the “portly” gentlemen again and we presume he is donating a large sum of money for the men are greatly surprised. Scrooge then visits Fred’s house and takes him up on his offer to spend Christmas with them and enjoys himself greatly. The next day when Cratchit arrives at work he is given a raise by Scrooge who now greets people on the streets with a smile.
The story ends with us learning that Scrooge becomes very close to Tiny Tim and he lives on. This acts almost as a incentive for the readers to also become someone like Scrooge as they would be able to save lives and help the poor. To conclude, Dickens demonstrates that one person can change the social conditions for a family, such as the Cratchit’s. The story shows that everyone can change, even the bitterest most melancholy character and that nothing is set in stone. The rich can be kind like Fezziwig and the poor can go to extreme measures like Scrooge’s housekeepers.