The novel a Christmas carol by Dickens, was written in 1843 during the Victorian era. It was set in London and it was written to highlight the suffering of the poor especially at Christmas. The poor are suffering from the lack of money because there were no jobs available. There was no healthcare and poor housing and they had no money. They could not afford beautiful houses or swanky things in their houses. Bad diet because fruit and vitamins were too expensive. They had little or even no sanitation which caused illness, infant death, poor health and personal hygiene simply because they cant afford it.
As mentioned, there was very little work available there were too many people and not enough jobs. When people finally found jobs they were very badly paid. Those people that were unfortunate and couldn’t get jobs would starve. Many large families were separated and sent to debtors prison or the workhouse. The children would be sent to work in factories or chimney sweeping. Families didn’t have enough money to clothe their children. One in five children died before the age of ten, normally due to the appalling living conditions.
“Tight fisted hand at the grindstone” This is an important quote because Dickens is describing how tight and selfish scrooge is. “The cold within him froze”. This explains that he is a dark, evil, cold old sinner. The only time when scrooge feels a little bit happy is when he has lots of money in his tight fisted hand. “No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle”. Dickens has related scrooge to the weather and pointed out how heartless and cold scrooge is by using words like no warmth, snow, frosty blue. Nobody likes to be around scrooge because he is so unpleasant. When people pass him in the street they just keep their heads down had avoid him, most people are scared of him. Scrooge is nasty to everyone, even his family (Fred) his nephew.
Scrooge is very different to the other characters in stave1. Fred is the complete opposite to scrooge, especially at Christmas. Fred is insouciant, easygoing, happy, and jolly and loves Christmas. Dickens refers Fred to “ruddy!” this means really excited and pleasant. Even when scrooge is being barbaric and cruel Fred is still in the festive, joyful mood. “Good day uncle” calls Fred. “Bah humbug” replies scrooge, but Fred still carries on happy as ever! The charity workers are completely shocked when scrooge doesn’t want to make a donation. They are just devastated that scrooge can be so cruel. Bob Crachett is completely different to scrooge; Bob is more like Fred. Festive and happy. Bob pretends to scrooge that he is okay and likes him but secretly doesn’t like him.
Scrooge lives in what could be a nice house but just isn’t. Scrooge decides to live in such a way that is bearable and liveable but does not have to spend any money. We know this by what Dickens has wrote in stave 1. Scrooge never has any decorations up at a festive time like Christmas. Scrooge always sits by his small fire. “It was a very low fire indeed, nothing on such a bitter night. He was obliged to sit close to it, and brood over it, before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel.”
In stave 1 of a Christmas carol, scrooge sits by his small fire to eat his warmed up slop of gruel, in his undecorated room. The effect that scrooge eats gruel on the audience is that scrooge is too selfish to buy any proper food. He eats what they eat in prison, so the audience takes affence to him. Scrooge can afford posh food he doesn’t have to eat gruel, he just chooses too because its cheaper that way and he doesn’t have to spend any of his precious money. We realise this buy the way Dickens has written the story.
Scrooge has changed by stave 5. “Yes”!! You can tell this just by the first words that he opens the stave with. Instead of scrooge making horrible remarks like “Bah Humbug” he is kind, polite, jolly and just feels wonderful. “I am as light as a feather, I as happy as a angel, I am as merry as a school boy.” When Bob comes into work just eighteen and a half minutes behind schedule scrooge makes a joke by pretending he is really angry and he is going to sack Bob. “Now I tell you what my friend, I am not going to stand for this behaviour” threatens scrooge trying not to laugh. ” I am going to”…….. Bob looking worried. “Raise your salary”.
Bob changed his expression to gob smacked. You can see the contrast of the first and second stave to the fifth one. Scrooge is constantly laughing and smiling, scrooge is confused when a little weird noise came from his mouth. Until he realised that it was a laugh. He had not laughed for so long he forgot what it felt like. When scrooge goes round to his family’s house for some Christmas dinner they don’t really know what to say to him. When he knocked on the door they all gasped!