A Christmas Carol’
Topic: ‘Charles Dickens presents a warning to society through his novella ‘A Christmas Carol’. Discuss.
Fictional stories, although based upon make-believe tales, can often expose the truth behind an author’s personal views and ideals, as well as act as powerful tools to present social messages and warnings to readers across many generations. ‘A Christmas Carol’, written by Charles Dickens, is a novella in which social inequality is highlighted through the journey of a notorious miser during the Victorian era in Britain. Throughout this morality tale, Dickens presents a warning to society through his ‘social commentary’ which centres on how society has become too self-absorbed and greedy in their ways. Dickens warns
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A great example of this are the characters of Want and Ignorance, who as their names suggest, represent the want of personal gain and wealth and the ignorance of the rich towards the poor. Want and Ignorance, two emaciated children of man, are presented to Scrooge through the ghost of Christmas Present. These two terrifying figures represent humanity’s fate if people fail to respond to the plight of the poor. Almost wild in demeanour, the children have been neglected to the point they have become feral. “No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.” The children have been reduced to the status of monsters and following so rapidly from the jovial scenes of celebration, they shock the reader and terrify Scrooge. The children are in direct contrast to Tiny Tim and the other Cratchits; where they are joyful and thankful for what little they have, the characters of Want and Ignorance are feral and represent the good of the rich and misfortune of the poor. Dickens utilises these two characters to shock and warn the readers of humanity’s fate if society’s social division and stark inequality was to continue.
Although Dickens sets out to warn his readers on what personal characteristics not to possess, he also makes an effort to educate his readers on how to be model citizens.