Charles Dickens Essay
It also suggests that his previous way of conducting himself has been broken and therefore he has changed. The form of the book and the way that it has been structured has a specific effect on the reader. It breaks the book down into chunks and emphasises the point of each one. The first and last staves, act as a prologue and epilogue to show the Scrooge before and after his moral transformation. This idea is backed up by the fact that the last stave is much shorter than the other four, acting as a round off to the book leaving you to imagine the rest of Scrooges life.
In the third stave; “The second of the Three Spirits” Scrooge meets with the Spirit of Christmas Present who proceeds to show Scrooge how people are spending their Christmases. First he takes Scrooge through the town showing him the hubbub of Christmas shoppers getting food for the forthcoming day. “There were ruddy, brown-faced, broad-girthed Spanish Onions, shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars; and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by, and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe.
There were pears and apples, clustered high in blooming pyramids; there were bunches of grapes, made, in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks, that peoples mouths might water gratis as they passed. ” Dickens uses such descriptive language here to focus on how much the food means to people who cannot afford much, and also how important the meal, and Christmas generally, is to everyone. The idea of food is again a running theme as in Dickens’s time large quantities of food, as we commonly see now, were not possible during Victorian times.
This was because they had no way of refrigerating food and therefore Christmas was very special in that people could feast at this one time of the year. The language he uses here is important because the way that he personifies the food shows how much attention was showed to it and we see this attention to detail at the beginning of this stave as well when the ghost is sat in a kind of throne of food. Also when the ghost is sprinkling blessings on passing people’s food the ghost tells Scrooge that the poor are more needy than the rich which Scrooge did not realise before as he was always looking out for himself only.
Then they visit the Cratchit’s home where although they are very poor they all love each other and they have a very happy home, this contrasts with Scrooge’s home and work because although Scrooge is very rich, he is always unhappy. For example although they cannot afford a very big goose for Christmas lunch they are all very happy with it and none of them complain. Dickens especially conveys the feeling of a happy home with the use of a lot of dialogue between family members.
Dickens’s use of dialogue throughout the book is very effective and attracts the reader as it seems much more realistic. In the forth stave Scrooge meets with the Ghost of Christmas future who has come to show him what his future will be like if he does not change his ways. He is shown his colleges discussing his funeral, and is surprised to realise that none of them care for him. He is also shown a back street merchant to whom his belongings are being sold as no one looked after his house when he died.
Finally he is shown that Tiny Tim has died because his family did not have enough money to support him. This stave is very important as it shows Scrooge the short-term consequences of his actions in life if he continues to live the way he is doing so now. And we see that he has fully changed by the end of the stave “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, Present and Future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me.
” This clearly shows that he now cares fully and realises the error of his ways. This is an important part of the novel as it shows that he has changed fully, and the desperation he has at the end of stave four, makes the reader feel sorry for him. This has deliberately been done by Dickens as it shows that a character whom at the start of the story you despised, by the end of this stave you feel sorry for and hope that he does have a chance to show that he is a changed man.
Finally in the fifth stave Scrooge gets a chance to show how changed he is as he has been with the spirits only the length of one night. He gets to go and visit his nephew and he raises the salary of his clerk. This particular part, when he raises the pay of his clerk, uses humour again as it shows just how surprised Bob Cratchit is that he is receiving a pay rise, as he cowers and holds up a poker. This use of humour raises the mood of the last stave. Also we see Scrooge’s mannerisms become much different and he laughs and becomes a different person.
During the last stave the most important running theme is emphasised, that anyone can change for the better. This point is shown very clearly because Dickens creates the most horrible character he can and by the end of the book, as a reader you are inclined to like him. The book is appealing to readers because the moral points are important and it is a very heart-warming book that makes people feel better about themselves and want to embrace the spirit of Christmas, which is what Dickens intended.