Christmas Eve - Sample Essay
Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1843 in the form of a novel, it was very successful and is still popular today. The play “An Inspector Calls,” was written in 1945 by J. B Priestly and was set in 1912. These two texts are similar as they both convey a message that we should follow and live by. The author’s views are quite similar as they both refer to middle class and working class in socialist terms. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843 to aware people of the homeless children living in terrible conditions.
In the same year he visited Field Lane Ragged School that taught the poorest children of the time to read and write. Dickens was appalled at the terrible conditions and was also deeply shocked by a parliamentary report by the Children’s Employment Commission. To get his socialist views across he first decided to write a pamphlet called, “An Appeal To The People Of England On Behalf Of The Poor Mans Child,” but then decided to write a novel as he was the most popular novelist at the time and therefore he would be more successful.
A Christmas Carol was published on the 17th of December 1843 and by the 24th of December it had sold 6,000 copies. It is still a popular novel today and appears in many versions for the young and the old. The word “Scrooge” has also become a word used widely in the English language meaning, “A miserly or mean person. ” In the first stave Dickens characterises Scrooge as a lonely, cold-hearted miser.
To describe Scrooge he uses effective listing techniques, for example he describes him as, A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! ” this makes the reader instantly dislike Scrooge as the “ing,” in each word emphasises it and brings the word to life by making them more dramatic. Dickens also uses the simile, “Hard and sharp as flint,” this is used to give the impression that Scrooge is hard and cold and that no love can come from him. The weather in ” A Christmas Carol” is used to symbolise Scrooge’s chilliness.
Dickens takes this a step further by going on to describe his physical features being affected by his inner feeling of coldness, “Nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue,” this tells us that he is bitter throughout. “External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge,” is used to notify us that he always carries his wintriness around him whether it is warm or cold. Dickens effectively uses the simile, “Solitary as an oyster,” to portray Scrooge as being alone and having a hard exterior shell that you have to prise open to see his true emotions.
When describing Marley, Dickens illustrates him as Scrooge being “his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sloe assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and sole mourner,” the echo of the word “sole” emphasises how lonesome Scrooge and Marley were together, that they only had each other and that Scrooge is even more isolated now he has gone. The first sign of Scrooge changing when showing fear is when he sees Marley’s face in the door knocker and which afterwards he, “Double locked himself in, which was not his custom.
” When Marley reappears Scrooge’s “colour changed,” and “The spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones,” this metaphor now implies that Scrooge is terrified. After Marley’s visit Scrooge tries to say “Humbug! ” but is unable to, as he cannot dismiss what has just happened to him. Unlike before, Scrooge has now been affected by something that has changed the way he feels and thinks. Marley’s ghost tells Scrooge that if he doesn’t change he will have to travel the earth and look upon poor man for eternity after his death and as he does so he will have to carry a “chain” of all his wrong doings.
Dickens message here is that peoples sins are not forgotten and that even when dead, your wrong doings will still be with you. This stave covers the visit of The Ghost of Christmas Past; the main purpose of this being to soften Scrooge by showing him memories of his past. We first see Scrooge as a child, Dickens writes that, “He was conscious of a thousand odours floating through the air connected with hopes, joys and cares,” this tells the reader that he is very sensitive about his past and that unlike now he is remembering feelings of gladness.
The word “fervour,” is used to describe how Scrooge talks which shows that he has great emotional feeling and enthusiasm for his past. Whilst seeing his former peers, the rhetorical question, “Why did his cold heart glisten, and his heart leap up as they went past! ” is used to let the reader know that he is remembering happiness in his youth. The spirit shows Scrooge himself when he was a child, Scrooge recalls that he was alone; he remembers fictional characters and with great emotion recalls them.
Scrooge then remembers the Carol singer that came to him and says that he “should have given him something,” this is the first indication that Scrooge realises that he was wrong and needs to change the way he acts. Dickens goes on to describe Scrooges sister and signifies that Scrooge loved her and that her death was very upsetting for him. The spirit then takes Scrooge to his first place of work, he remembers his boss Fizziwig as the spirit shows him preparing for Christmas Eve.
Dickens writes, “His heart and sole were in the scene and with his former self,” to tell us that he has changed from former self as he was much happier then. He says that Fezziwig has the “power to render us unhappy or happy” and that “The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune. ” These phrases tell us that Scrooge still admires Fezziwig for the joy he brought to others. They also have a slight irony, as Scrooge at this point is not sounding at all like his later self but as his more joyous former self because his only love now is money.