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By this, the reader is disgusted by the character of Scrooge as well as his reaction to the carol singer which would appal the reader. For example, he flings a ruler at the carol singer, who “fled in terror”. By this reaction, Dickens is probably trying to suggest that Scrooge seems to be rejecting the Religious aspect of Christmas. Scrooge therefore makes his general opinion on Christmas clearly by referring to it as a “Humbug” and states that it should not be celebrated as it is not beneficial in any way.
At this point, the reader is aware of what sort of man Scrooge is and would not want to be like him. Again, Dickens makes us frightened of becoming like Marley’s ghost because of his vivid description of the ghost in chapter 2 pages 19 – 20. The train of things Marley is chained to remind the reader of the misdeeds committed in his lifetime. The series of things which Marley carries with him, for example, the chain of: “Cash – boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds and heavy purses wrought in steel” (page 20) make us frightened of becoming like him.
One must not however forget that part of Marley’s punishment was to wander around the earth feeling remorseful for his actions when he was alive. The purpose of Marley’s appearance as a ghost is, above all, to warn Scrooge of his life and make him aware of the human relations, hoping Scrooge will change. Marley makes it clear that if Scrooge does not change, he will end up like him, if not worse.
This is a cause for readers to reflect on themselves, making them think of what the attributes of their sins would be and how long and heavy their chains would be like if they do not ‘keep Christmas well’- being generous and charitable.
In the fourth Paragraph, Scrooge is shown a dead miser who is robbed by greedy people who do not regret what they have done. This is because they do not respect the man and think he deserves to be robbed because he was wicked. Scrooge not only enacts the effect of the scene on himself, he then becomes aware of the assumption behind the message when he asks the spirit: “If there is any person in the town who feel emotion caused by this man’s death, show that person to me” (Page 105)
However, to his disappointment, he is shown a couple who can not help but feel relieved by the death of the miser. This is because he was a threatening creditor to the couple who could not make their repayments. It can then be seen that because he was a creditor, he had money, but one can deduce from the couple’s reactions that he was unmerciful: “The only emotion that the Ghost could show him caused by the event, was one of pleasure. ” (Page 107) In contrast to such reactions, Scrooge observes the sadness mingled with tenderness that arises from the death of Tiny Tim.
Despite being poor, Tiny Tim is better of because his death bed was surrounded with those who loved and cared for him. Unlike the miser, the only emotion that could be shown due to his death was one of sorrow. This is how Dickens uses these scenes to frighten readers of ending up dead and unloved. Also the reader would want to be like Tiny Tim- surrounded with love rather than Scrooge- “neglected and unloved. ” Christmas according to Dickens is enjoyable because it is a time of cheerfulness, joy, generosity and abundant food.
The Spirit makes Scrooge understand that socially, Christmas is a time where rancour gives way to humour and dissonance to harmony. It is a feast of fellowship and visiting. “But, if you had judged from the number of people on their way to friendly gatherings, you might have thought that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there… “(page 77) Scrooge’s Nephew shows that he keeps Christmas well by throwing a Christmas dinner and inviting his friends and even Scrooge, his unfriendly uncle.
The Cratchits also despite their state of financial difficulty manage to keep Christmas well through meals shared in company by having a Christmas dinner together as a family: This shows how the Cratchit family were happy, harmonious and content. Similarly, Fezziwig also kept Christmas well. He organises a party at Christmas for all acquaintances, not leaving out the poor. This goes to prove his cheerfuness, joy, generosity, abundant food and friendly gatherings at Christmas.
The above discussions show that those who ‘keep Christmas well’ seem happier than Scrooge. For example, Scrooge is surprised to see miners and others in the lighthouse far away from the shore singing happily to celebrate Christmas Therefore; Dickens makes those who ‘keep Christmas well’ seem happier than Scrooge to persuade the reader to also ‘keep Christmas well’ Thus, having a poor background himself, Dickens was interested in the poor and opposed class systems in most of his novels.
(Oliver Twist, David Copperfield) Due to that, he often wrote to recreate a sense of social wholeness through religious values and to suggest a deep faith in the power of Christian love which is dependent on social relations. He thought that there should be charitable activities from the rich to the poor. Therefore in the novel, we are told that despite their financial difficulties, the Cratchits keep Christmas well by sharing the little provisions they have to make them happy. On the other hand, we are introduced to Scrooge, a very rich business man who has everything at his disposal but very stingy, wicked and uncompromising.
The reader is therefore made to feel sorry for the Crachits family because as poor as they are, share whatever they have got to make them happy at Christmas while Scrooge who has more that necessary to spare does not make himself merry at Christmas and can not afford to make idle people merry. In the third chapter, the spirit shows Scrooge two children, “Want” and “Ignorance”. Here Dickens uses the technique of personification to represent the poverty and hardship of the poor in Victorian London.
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