Century England - Sample Essay
The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there;’ Dickens uses colour to describe the room. He also gives a long list of adjectives to give an impression of the rich and wealth of Christmas dining. ‘turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, suckling pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth -cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dull with their delicious steam.
The transformation of his room is symbolic for the way in which Scrooge will have a change of character in the novel. The weather of Stave 3 is very different to that in Stave 2. ‘The sky was gloomy, and the shortest streets were choked up with a dingy mist, half thawed, half frozen. ‘ This is how the weather is described during Christmas present. It is very dark and dull unlike in stave 2 where it was bright and cheerful. This contrast is used to set the mood of the stave. Personification is used by Dickens when he describes the fruiterers’ in the street.
‘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. ‘ He also uses the senses to make his descriptions rich. ‘There were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance. ‘ He links to taste, touch, sound and smell. When Scrooge is taken to his future, the spirit of Christmas yet to come is a dull, grim figure and the setting is dark and gloomy. This represents the misery of the future if Scrooge does not change.
We soon come to learn that Scrooge has indeed died and the characters we meet are glad about this. ‘It’s likely to be a very cheap funeral, for upon my life I don’t know of anybody to go to it. ‘ Scrooge is in denial in this stave and refuses to accept the fact that he is dead and no-one cares; it hurts him to know that nobody grieves over him. We travel to various places where he again, refuses to acknowledge his own death. We visit his funeral and then the pawnbrokers, where 2 women and a man have stolen items from Scrooge’s house and have brought them to here collect money.
Scrooge does not like what he sees and asks the spirit to take him to a place where someone is upset upon a death; ‘Let me see some tenderness connected with a death. ‘ He is taken to the house of the Cratchits where he views something unexpected. Tiny Tim has died and the family are grieving for him, not Scrooge. Towards the end of this stave, the phantom takes him to a grave yard and shows him his own tombstone. This causes Scrooge to break down and he swears he will change and become a better man to change the future of himself and Tiny Tim.
‘Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life! ‘ Tiny Tim is the first person Scrooge ever had feelings for, he liked him. This shows the reader that Scrooge is a changed man and is willing to make the future brighter for himself and the people of his town, he will achieve goodness. The setting of the last stave contrasts highly with that of Stave 1. The beginning of the novel saw Scrooge working in his counting-house in ‘cold, bleak, biting weather. ‘ The weather has dramatically changed and is now described as being much brighter.
‘No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh glorious. Glorious! ‘ This is symbolic to Scrooges’ character. It represents the transformation from a mean, greedy old man to a brighter, happier and nicer person. Dickens uses a string of positive similes to create Scrooge’s character after he changed. ‘Laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect lacoon of himself with his stocking.
‘I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school boy, I am as giddy as a drunken boy. ‘ These are all bright imagery showing his newly-formed character. Scrooge has learnt a very valuable lesson through the 3 ghosts that visited him. He has learnt to accept responsibility for the society and community around him, much like the theme of ‘An Inspector Calls,’ a book written by JB Priestley in 1945. Both books explore the effect of neglect upon the community around a character and teach the audience a lesson about accepting one-another and looking out for each other.