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Commoners when asked what their favorite Christmas carol is, they would give you answers like Silent Night or Joy to the World and many other various Christmas songs. But for people who are so much into literature, their answer would be different. Their favorite Christmas Carol would be A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens is an allegory tale which teaches us that each and every choice that we make throughout our lives have long-lasting effects.
It was published in the festive season of Christmas back in 1843. It has five staves rather than chapters. Stave is a metaphor used which basically means a simple song, with a beginning and then middle and eventually an end. Dickens uses stave to link the story of his writing to the cheerful and festive season of Christmas such as caroling while at the very same time Dickens also fills the story with the nature of the society at that time with their mindset of politics.
Dickens relates himself with the character in his book, Bob Cratchit. Similar to Cratchit, Dickens was also a husband and a father of quite a big number family. His wife was pregnant while Dickens was writing this book with their fifth child and they were struggling financially as well. Since his earlier writings were not under the spotlight and at the same time their living expenses were too high, he wrote this book desperately in attempt to earn more money to provide for his family.
Although financial issues may have been the sole purpose of the motivation for A Christmas Carol, Dickens later on found himself deeply consoled by the story. In his description of the process of writing this book, he said he wept and laughed, and wept again, and he walked about the black streets of London fifteen or twenty miles many a night when all sober folks had gone to bed. His hardship and his passion in his work for the publication of this book made him pay for the production of the book despite all his problems including his financial struggles, he paid for his own after he had disagreements with the publishers. He also desperately lowered the price of the book to only five shillings. While Christmas celebrations were often highly appreciated during the Middle Ages, by the Victorian era, enthusiasm was lost. Some Christian leaders had become skeptical of the heretic traditions that persisted in their religious holiday, and also due to the financial struggles many families lacked the resources to celebrate as they had in the past year. When Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol was published, it revived much of the nostalgia and tradition we associate with Christmas today. During the time when families were having financial struggles and were secluded from the holiday spirits, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens reignited the joy and unity brought about by Christmas. Charles Dickens informed his readers through the book by highlighting that the joyfulness that Christmas brings does not require the gold and riches of Ebenezer Scrooge, but instead it is the inner self and a kind heart that brings about the joy like the Cratchit family.The theme of Christmas in the book has two basic aspects: First is the festive and jolly vibes that the Christmas brought about. The love and unification that the Cratchit family possesses in the story despite all their hardships like poverty shows the readers that the Christmas spirit can defeat misery and wickedness like Scrooge had in him. Also, Dickens highlighted the class hierarchy and the crushing poverty that families were facing during that time. It shows that during the cold winter weather the poor had to go through a lot in comparison to the rich who are enjoying a warm and cozy fireplace in their house.The first family scene which took place at the Cratchits was a very important scene. Dickens’ highlight of Every child was conducting itself like forty portrays that Dickens did not want children to go through the same hardships that he endured during his childhood. He had to support his family and had to work in a factory in order to do so. As quoted above, Dickens wanted children to enjoy their time and be free from the cruel reality of the world. Dickens also uses imagery in the story to make the readers feel and be in there with them when the Cratchit family had their meal. Dickens showed how close, loving and caring families are in spite of how troubled they may be using a Christmas pudding; nobody said or thought it was at all small pudding for a large pudding. The size or quantity do not matter at all when the family are together. It is at time during the Christmas that families become united and show their love between one another. Similarly, Dickens used his style of narration with huge variety of length of the sentence as well as verbs to capture the readers with the intensity of each scene. He set the pace and make sure that the readers are impressed that the family are rushing with enlightenment and also to show his thoughts and impressions on how Christmas should be celebrated. Two smaller Cratchits came tearing in, screaming. This short line highlights the excitement or the enthusiasm that children have during the Christmas, believing that Santa Claus is bringing them gifts. The Spirit of Christmas Present took Scrooge with him to wander into the streets of the city, entangled with mud and snow. There they came across the rich scents of tea and coffee, almonds and fruits. Dickens not only portray the Christmas feasting, but also concerned to make the story the vehicle of Christian truths. The theme of A Christmas Carol is not just caroling and feasting; it is a story of conversion, salvation or rebirth. Both the Christmas food and feasting reflects the goodness of creation and the eternal joy of heaven. With the appearance of the second spirit, two new characters came into play with personification. A girl called want and a boy called ignorance. Dickens describes the two characters want and ignorance as twisted and surreal. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity. The repetition of the world No here implies that there is no hope nor future for these children. Throughout the story, Christmas depicted or symbolizes all the behavior that Dickens believed to have constituted the good life. Christmas is portraoyed time and time again in the book as a time of generous giving, socializing, kindness, being compassionate to the poor, and joyful celebration. If we take Fezziwig’s Christmas dance and party for example, it actually typifies the kind of cheerfulness and caring for others that Dickens wanted people to extend to each other both on and beyond the Christmas season. The Cratchits, too, do everything in their power to have a happy Christmas in spite of being poor and bearing such hardships. Fred in the earlier part of the story, extends a hand of friendship to his uncle”Scrooge”who is nothing but rude to him, but despite his rudeness, Fred showed the forgiveness and patience that is part of the Christmas spirit.In the book, how a person behaves with regards to Christmas actually says something important about his or her characteristics. Scrooge shows his hard-headed, twisted, destructive and secluded nature most clearly when he is not touched in the least way by the Christmas spirit, but, instead, wishes Christmas would go away. At the end of the book, Scrooge’s transformation to Christmas becomes the moral for how Dickens would like everyone to act, every day of the year: generous, exuberant, delighted to be alive, and thinking of the welfare of others first.Dickens as well as majority of the readers have this in mind that Christmas should be a time of joyfulness. But it cannot be as joyful and merry for the ones who have no food to eat nor necessities to keep them warm or worse, even without a roof over their heads to shelter them. Furthermore, it is cold during Christmas and fresh food is scarce, and those who actually afford it seem to seclude themselves and enjoy within themselves rather than with those in need. Dickens is highlighting that we as a human, have to help each other though we cannot help everyone in need, we have to reach out to at least our loved ones and families during the Christmas time.
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