With its numerous literary, stage, television, radio, and cinematic adaptations, the tale has become a holiday classic, and the character Ebenezer Scrooge has become a cultural icon. First published in , the novella garnered immediate critical and commercial attention and is credited with reviving interest in charitable endeavors, the possible perils of economic success, and festive traditions of the Christmas season.
It is the first work in Dickens's series of Christmas stories known collectively as the Christmas Books, as well as the most popular and enduring. Set in the s on Christmas Eve, A Christmas Carol chronicles the personal transformation of the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, the proprietor of a London counting house. A wealthy, elderly man, Scrooge is considered miserly and misanthropic: Moreover, Scrooge is a strong supporter of the Poor Law of , which allowed the poor to be interned in workhouses.
As he prepares for bed on Christmas Eve in his solitary, dark chambers, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley. In life Marley was very similar in attitude and temperament to Scrooge: In death he has learned the value of compassion and warns Scrooge to reform his ways before it is too late.
Marley announces that Scrooge will be visited by three more specters: The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to his unhappy childhood, revealing that the young boy's experiences with poverty and abandonment inspired a desire to succeed and gain material advantage.
The Ghost of Christmas Present is represented by a hearty, genial man who reminds Scrooge of the joy of human companionship, which he has rejected in favor of his misanthropic existence. Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appears in a dark robe and shrouded in mystery.
Silently, the ghost reveals the ambivalent reaction to news of Scrooge's own death. Scrooge realizes that he will die alone and without love, and that he has the power and money to help those around him—especially Bob Cratchit's ailing son, Tiny Tim. Scrooge begs the ghost for another chance and wakes in his bed on Christmas morning, resolved to changing his life by being generous and loving to his family, employees, and the poor.
A Christmas Carol has been deemed a biting piece of social commentary by some. Critics have underscored the scathing criticism of s London, an economically and socially stratified city that Dickens believed imprisoned its poor and oppressed its lower classes. The prevailing socio-economic theory of that time held that anyone who was in debt should be put in a poorhouse.
In his story, Dickens contended that the reformation of such a materialistic, shallow society can be achieved gradually through the spiritual transformation of each individual. The story is well regarded for its expression of a fundamental faith in humanity and its unflagging censure of social injustice, which was inspired by Dickens's troubled background and his visit to the Cornish tin mines where he observed young children laboring under appalling conditions.
As Scrooge transforms from a cruel, embittered miser to a kindly philanthropist, Dickens advocates a more forgiving, generous society that values spiritual growth, not material wealth. Other major thematic concerns in A Christmas Carol include the role of memory, the importance of family, and the soul-deadening effect of greed on the human spirit. Upon its initial publication, A Christmas Carol was greeted with mixed reviews. Some commentators derided the tale as too sentimental and laden with exaggeration; other critics maintained that A Christmas Carol lacked the complexity of Dickens's later work.
Yet the novella remains a Christmas favorite. Commentators praise Dickens's evocative portrayal of s London and his passionate exploration of social and political issues.
Dickens's fervent belief in social justice as depicted through A Christmas Carol is credited with inspiring an outpouring of charitable endeavors during his time and a revival of Christmas spirit and traditional celebrations. He was reacting to the fact that even in Christmas was beginning to lose its true meaning with the introduction of Christmas trees, greeting cards and presents. It is in essence a Christian fable with the message that the meek, such as Bob Cratchit, are truly worthy and that charity is a noble cause.
In the 21st century we may be less religious than the Victorians of 19th-century England, but we still recognise the message and may similarly react to the commercialisation of Christmas. The audience from the 21st century may play down the religious elements of the story and highlight the humanitarian aspect, but the gist is still the same. A Christmas Carol allows 21st centuries readers to be able to establish a clear connection to the times that they are living in to the times that Dickens was writing in.
It is clear the true happiness comes from good deeds and money does not bring a wealth of happiness. The true meaning of Christmas is also shown, but it is also clear that it was materialised, just as it is today. A Christmas Carol has relevance to the circumstances of the society today and is not only just a cliched moral fable. Home Essays A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Carol 12 December There are many parts of humour in both the versions, mainly when Scrooge turns from mean to generous, in the version, where Scrooge dances at the end and when Jo the pawnbroker was mad.
This is also humorous. In the modern version, the humour is the same, the change between mean to generous and the way that Scrooge scares people. He suddenly turns nice, everyone is suprised and people start to faint. Music, in both films, play important parts because it sets the scene of Christmas.
Carols are played at the beginning. This sets the scene of Christmas. At Scrooges home in the version, there is a piece of music which is being repeated. A crescendo builds the tension and, when Marley enters, the repetition of suspended minor chords gives the feeling of mystery and an edge to the scene. When Scrooge goes to bed, there is the repetition of music again; that builds up more tension. When the hour-glass appears, music is played and repeated. The singing and dancing plays out to the end of the film.
In the version, carols are played each time Scrooge enters Christmas Eve again returning from his journey from the spirits. Accessed September 14, We will write a custom essay sample on A Christmas Carol specifically for you.
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A Christmas Carol is a permanent fixture in Western literature and popular culture, if only because it is retold at Christmas-time annually. As a .
In A Christmas Carol, an allegory of spiritual values versus material ones, Charles Dickens shows Scrooge having to learn the lesson of the spirit of Christmas, facing the reality of his own.
Scrooge's Transformation in Dickens' A Christmas Carol - In this essay I am going to distinguish the personality of Scrooge also show you how he was at the beginning of the novella in the 1st Stave to how he changes at the end in the 5th Stave. A Christmas Carol shows how the Christmas spirit and caring people can change a person and their outlook on life. A Christmas Carol is a secular story of Christmas time in an urban setting (Perdue )/5(10).
In this essay, I will analyze how the main protagonist in A Christmas Carol transforms from being a mean and spiteful character, to the generous man at the end. Charles Dickens set the novella at Christmas time in the 19th Century. A Christmas Carol Essay. Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is a morality tale of a selfish and bitter Ebenezer Scrooge and his visits from 3 spirits representing his past, present and future, bringing him into a complete change of .