Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ tells us that we are all on the earth to improve and better ourselves. This is shown through Scrooge’s behaviour and his life. At the beginning of the novel Scrooge is bitter, horrible and cold. ‘
“If I could work my will” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with a “Merry Christmas” on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding, and buried with a steak of holly through his heart. He should! ” ‘ Here Scrooge shows his extreme dislike for the Christmas season by saying that everyone who celebrates Christmas should be butchered in their own Christmas dinner.
But after seeing his life and how it affects the people around him, he starts to change for the better. The spirit of Christmas present quoted Scrooge’s own words right back in his face.
‘ “Have they no refuge or resource? ” Cried Scrooge. “Are there no prisons? ” said the spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. “Are there no work houses? ” ‘ Seeing the wisdom and power of the three spirits Scrooge changes and by the end of the novel treasures Christmas in his heart. ‘ “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me… ” ‘ Scrooge’s nephew, Fred is very important to the novel because he portrays the moral message of families being together at Christmas, and also the fact that Christmas is a time for forgiveness. This links with how Dickens wrote the novel, in the setting of Christmas. We meet Scrooge’s nephew, who personifies the theme of families through the Christmas season. This is seen, as he’s tolerant towards his uncle Scrooge’s thoughts towards Christmas.
Every year Scrooge refuses his nephew’s invitation and every year his nephew forgives him and invites them to Christmas dinner. Through Jacob Marley Dickens teaches us that man’s obligation is to look out for his fellow man and to aid those less providential than themselves: to be philanthropic rather than misanthropic.
‘ “I wear the chain I forged in life,”… “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on my own free will and of my own free will I wore it… or would you know… the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself?
It was full as heavy and as long as this seven Christmas eves ago. You have laboured on it since. It is a ponderous chain! ” ‘ Here in stave one Marley’s ghost emerges and informs Scrooge that it is necessary for him to change otherwise he will have to bear a chain much the same as Marley. Through his old colleagues spirit Scrooge learns that he needs to alter whilst there is still time. Marley expresses his own sorrows to Scrooge and Scrooge believes that his own personal senses are deceiving him and he says, ‘ ” A little thing affects them.
A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. ” ‘ Here Scrooge evidently states that he doubts that anything beyond reality exists, nevertheless, Marley’s visit will be certain to reside within his mind throughout the visits of the other spirits. Scrooge represents Victorian society through many factors; there are four key ones, which represent the majority of Victorians. The first is hatred. Scrooge hates Christmas and everything to do with it. ‘ “Merry Christmas! What right do you have to be merry?!
” ‘ He doesn’t want to spend time with his family at any time of the year and doesn’t see why Christmas should be an exception. He doesn’t want to spend time with his family because as a child his immediate family were not loving and kind towards him. Because of all this Christmas is a very unhappy time of year for Scrooge and because of that fact he doesn’t want anybody else to enjoy it. This also represents selfishness. Most Victorians were both selfish and jealous, faults that generate hate towards those who have what they want.
The second factor is disrespect. Scrooge shows great disrespect to a lot of people, including the gentlemen collecting for charity. “I wish to be left alone… since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make myself merry at Christmas, and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. ” I think he says this because he thinks the gentlemen are below him. This represents Victorian society because back then the class system was more enforced than it is now.