Tuesday, August 6, 2019
A Christmas Carol Essay Example for Free
A Christmas Carol Essay What evidence is there in A Christmas Carol of social, cultural and historical contexts? A Christmas Carol is rich with historical, cultural and social contexts, all poignantly intertwined throughout the text. As the story is set in Victorian times, we are immediately given a sense of time and place in stave 1, by descriptions of both customs and daily routines. As the tale was set so long ago, there were obviously no modern appliances or conveniences. Dickens shows this as he describes Scrooges counting house. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerks fire was so much very smaller that it looked like one coal, and tried to warm himself at the candle. We are also given an insight into the era when Dickens outlines customs in the streets Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so, that people ran about with flaring links, proffering their services to go before horses in carriages, and to conduct them on their way The language used, I believe, is also influential to the overall story. Again Dickens is setting a time frame, which the tale adheres to, and the phrases used by some characters highlight this I am sorry with all my heart to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and Ill keep my Christmas humour to the last, Stop till I shut the door of the shop. Ah! How it skreeks! There ant such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges From the beginning of the novel and, obviously due to its title, we can see that there is much influence from the cultural aspects of Christmas. As the story is set in the festive season, great emphasis is stressed on Scrooges attitudes compared to those around him at this traditionally jovial time of year/ This is a major factor in the structure of the story, although it is the general social and cultural side of the holiday rather than the religious meaning. In fact religion is only suggested once, It might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see, but isnt as important as the suggestion of charity and kindness to ones fellow man. The social aspects of the time, particularly the attitudes of some upper class towards the lower classes, play an important role in the story and are voiced by, and then turned against, Scrooge. When asked whether he wishes to support a charity, Scrooge replies that prisons and workhouses are all the charity the poor need. The harshness of these remarks are later presented to Scrooge in a different context and he begins to realize the full error of his ways- a major point in the story. Dickens, contrary to Scrooges thinking, later criticizes these opinions when we are shown the extent of the Cratchits poverty. I believe the sympathy Dickens arouses when describing the house, stems from his own childhood where he was forced to work in a workhouse similar to those Scrooge talks about. This, I think, provides strong emotional aspects in the text and enables Dickens to effectively compel his audience to disagree with the social views presented.