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The amount of money to the Charity man; he is a changed man. He has a total change in his personality; he even plays a joke on Bob pretending to be miserly and then lights a large fire and helps Tiny Tim. Scrooge loses respect from his colleagues after using most of his money on charities. What picture do we get of Victorian London? We get a vivid description of Victorian London and the customs practiced in London during the 19th Century. Poverty is widespread, being of the middle class is popular and a small population holds the large potion of wealth.
Social class dictates life and there is seldom movement within the classes basically everyone is out for themselves. Dickens gives a classical description of the London streets. There was no tinsel, but lots of greenery. All the shops were open until lunchtime on Christmas Day, because servants had to work to prepare Christmas lunch, Bakers, for example, worked a half-day on Christmas day cooking the Goose. From Dickens descriptions it was a strongly Christian society. No one would marry young, it was thought that you had to live life first and then marry. This usually meant older men marrying younger girls.
Women were expected to give birth until they died, this meant most women would die during childbirth. From Dickens description he gives the impression that people no longer remembered country customs after moving to the city. When Dickens describes the behaviour and attitude of the people at the time, he is playing with words but giving an interesting insight of life at the time as well; “There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence.
” The city was a contrast; the new buildings went hand in hand with horribly overcrowded slums where conditions were of the poorest standard. Because of the rise in population the basic needs of citizens were put at risk. In 1848, the great Potato Famine struck Ireland, this led to over 100, 000 impoverished Irish fleeing their native land and settled in London, making at one time up to 20% of the total population of the city. London was not a nice place to be in the Victorian period because of the “Great Stink.
” The combination of coal-fired stoves and poor sanitation made the air heavy and foul smelling. For all the economic expansion of the Industrial Revolution, living conditions among London’s poor were appalling. Children as young as five were set to work begging or sweeping chimneys. Dickens himself did much to make the plight of the poor in London known to the liberate classes with his novels, notably ‘Oliver Twist. ‘ In 1870, those efforts bore some fruit with the passage of laws providing compulsory education for children between the ages of five and twelve. What does the story reveal about Dickens?
Dickens was outgoing, playful and loved to party, much like Fezziwig, the character Dickens created that taught Scrooge how to party. This is shown in his writing, particularly his love for playing with words. Dickens love of playing with words is showing in the last paragraph, “He had no further intercourse with spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle. ” (He meant that Scrooge would no longer drink spirits. ) Dickens writes on a very personal level, he writes the Cratchits’ family life from his won experience. He is a very physical writer but he also has a childish nature.
He makes everything young, for example Scrooge’s Clerk, which shows his childish outlook. Dickens shows his character through his writing, he likes the absurd and the grotesque. He takes everything to its extreme, piling up sentences and playing with language. Dickens shows his joviality and delight in life through his writing; he also shows that he is very sentimental. He personifies things as much as he can, for example he describes the ice as being “Misanthropic Ice” and gives Scrooge’s house a childish nature saying “it must have run there when it was a young house, playing hide and seek with other houses.
” This shows the physicality of his writing and he involves all the senses. Dickens starts the story in a very moral way and continues like this throughout, with the focus being on money, this is getting his message across from the beginning. The reason for this strong message was because of Dickens’ own background. He lived in poverty (like the Crachit’s) and he was sent to the blacking factory whilst his family went to the debtor’s prison. He starts the story with “Once upon a time… ” making it feel like a fairy tale but also being very accurate.
He has great presence in his writing, he is almost writing a moral fable. He chats with his audience creating a humorous relationship between himself and his audience. Dickens also veers from the main story line and goes into tangents of a philosophical or descriptive nature, which I feel reflects his thoughts while writing the book. He ends the story with a reference to God, “God Bless us everyone,” this may or may not be a reflection on Dickens believes but it did obviously have some significance otherwise he would not have ended the story in this way.
The Moral of the book is Christmas is the symbol of everything that is good. Which is what Dickens wanted to promote, involving his idealisation of Christmas being about children. Dickens changed the meaning of Christmas to what we know it as today. In 1815, Christmas was not an important event for children. Jane Austen writes about a couple going to stay with relatives for Christmas, she obviously saw Christmas as not being an important time for children, which in 1815 it was not. However, Dickens soon changed this and Christmas today is now centred about children, which is what Dickens wanted to achieve.