A Cheristmas Carol Essay

Submitted By lindsaykelly
Words: 2203
Pages: 9

Charles Dickens was born on 7th February 1812 in Portsmouth, as the Napoleonic Wars (which lasted twenty two years) was coming to an end. He was the second of eight children to John and Elizabeth. This would have been a time of real hardship and inflation as a result of the wars and due to financial difficulties, the Dickens family moved to London in 1822. His father was imprisoned in a ‘debtor’s prison’, resulting in Dickens moving in with a family friend in Camden Town. To pay rent and help his family, Dickens began employment in a warehouse, the harsh and punishing working conditions made a permanent impression, inspiring and influencing his writing. In addition to creating much loved novels he also campaigned for children’s rights, education and other social reforms. He married Catherine Hogarth on 2nd April 1836, but left her in 1857, when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan; an actress for a play he had written, ‘The Frozen Deep’. After suffering a stroke at his home on 8th June 1870, Dickens never regained consciousness. He died on the 9th June and was laid to rest in the ‘Poets Corner’ of Westminster Abbey. As he grew up in a poor household he discussed the ‘plight of the poor’ often, wishing to change such things and transform lives he went into journalism, reporting things which he witnessed and experienced. Dickens is considered to be one of the most talented novelists of the Victorian era as he created some of the most unforgettable and remarkable characters for his novels and he often used current events as the foundations of these narratives, a reflection of the issues and the environment in which he was living in at the time. Writing about boarding schools and workhouses to expose what was taking place there. Examples of this are; ‘Oliver Twist’, who was born in a workhouse and his mother died shortly after and ‘Nicholas Nickelby’, which looks at a boarding school and tells of how boys were abused, it was a result of this book, that regulations were set to deal with the allegations and issues regarding to abuse. His books were written with the intention of being read out loud and the majority of people who would go and hear him read would have been labourers and dockers; perhaps people who were not well educated due to poverty and could not read themselves. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is one of the greatest and most powerful works ever written and many adaptions of this have been created through writings, play scripts and movies. Dickens wrote this novel in 1842 as he was rather short of money. He wrote it in six weeks and it became a ‘best seller’. It is now printed in over one hundred languages all around the world.
“I have endeavoured in this ghostly little book, to raise the ghost of an idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly and no one wish to lay it.” C.D, December 1843. Dickens creates an image of a traditional Christmas, including Father Christmas, Christmas trees, cards, food and parties. This has had a lasting impact on the way we celebrate Christmas. ‘A Christmas Carol’ has many links to Christmas; take for example the title,’ A Christmas Carol’, meaning a song or a hymn sang at Christmas time and so he names each of his chapters, ‘Staves’. Stave one, of ‘A Christmas Carol’, begins with an extremely clever, powerful and engaging opening which immediately grasps the attention of anyone who reads it,
“Marley was dead: to begin with.” We come to know that Ebenezer Scrooge was the business partner of the late Marley and not only was he his only friend, but he was also the only person to attend Marley’s funeral.
“…his sole friend and sole mourner.” During this first stave, we learn vast amounts with regards to Ebenezer Scrooge. It seems that Scrooge was not emotionally affected by the death of his partner and that he prioritises business over any other matter, as on the day of…