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A Christmas Carol


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A Christmas Carol

  1. 1. Pre-1914 Prose A Christmas Carol <ul><li>How does Charles Dickens use </li></ul><ul><li>the Character of Scrooge to </li></ul><ul><li>deliver his themes about </li></ul><ul><li>Christmas and the treatment of </li></ul><ul><li>humanity ? </li></ul>
  2. 2. Key Objectives <ul><li>Objective : to focus on how the </li></ul><ul><li>author’s techniques are used to </li></ul><ul><li>convey his attitudes and values </li></ul><ul><li>towards Christmas. </li></ul><ul><li>Dickens was known for inventing Christmas </li></ul><ul><li>This will be achieved by examining: </li></ul>
  3. 3. Key Objectives <ul><li>Language - especially the use of imagery to establish Scrooge’s character at the beginning of the story </li></ul><ul><li>Structure - of, for example, varied sentence types to create the desired effect </li></ul><ul><li>You will conclude you assignment by </li></ul><ul><li>offering a personal comment on how much </li></ul><ul><li> you think Dickens's message still relevant to today’s society? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Assessment Objectives for Pre-1914 Prose <ul><li>A01 - respond to texts critically, sensitively and in detail, selecting appropriate ways to convey the response, using textual evidence as appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>A02 – Explore how language, structure and forms contribute meanings to texts, considering different approaches to texts and alternative interpretations </li></ul><ul><li>A04 – Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts and Literary traditions </li></ul>
  5. 5. Social/Historical Context <ul><li>When was the story written and what was London like during that time? Research what conditions were like for the poor in 1839 </li></ul><ul><li>How much did the above influence the writing of this novel? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you find out about the author Charles Dickens ? </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Writing of ‘A Christmas Carol’ <ul><li>Written in a six week period Dickens began writing his ‘Little Carol’ in October, 1843 finishing it by the end of November in time to be published for Christmas </li></ul><ul><li>Dickens financed the publishing of the book himself, ordering lavish binding, gilt edging, and hand-colored illustrations and then setting the price at 5 shillings so that everyone could afford it </li></ul><ul><li>The first and best of his Christmas books, A Christmas Carol has become a Christmas tradition and easily Dickens’ best known book </li></ul>
  7. 7. Charles Dickens and Christmas <ul><li>The romantic revival of Christmas traditions that occurred in Victorian times had other contributors: Prince Albert brought the German custom of decorating the Christmas tree to England </li></ul><ul><li>The singing of Christmas Carols began to thrive again </li></ul><ul><li>The first Christmas card appeared in the 1840’s </li></ul>
  8. 8. Charles Dickens and Christmas <ul><li>But it was the Christmas stories of </li></ul><ul><li>Charles Dickens, particularly his 1843 </li></ul><ul><li>masterpiece ‘A Christmas Carol’, that </li></ul><ul><li>rekindled the joy of Christmas in Britain and </li></ul><ul><li>America </li></ul><ul><li>Today, after more than 160 years, A </li></ul><ul><li>Christmas Carol continues to be relevant, </li></ul><ul><li>sending a message that cuts through the </li></ul><ul><li>materialistic thrive of the season and gets to </li></ul><ul><li>the heart and soul of the holidays. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Charles Dickens and Christmas <ul><li>Dickens described the holidays as ‘a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of other people below them as if they were really fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.’ (page 7) </li></ul><ul><li>This was what Dickens described for the rest of his life as the ‘Carol Philosophy.’ </li></ul>
  10. 10. VICTORIAN LONDON <ul><li>‘ If a late twentieth-century person were suddenly to find himself in a tavern or house of the period, he would literally be sick - sick with the smells, sick with the food, sick with the atmosphere around him.’ (Peter Ackroyd). </li></ul>
  11. 11. VICTORIAN LONDON <ul><li>The Victorian city of London was a city of contrasts. New buildings and affluent development existed alongside horribly overcrowded slums where people lived in the worst conditions imaginable </li></ul><ul><li>Coal-fired stoves and poor sanitation made the air heavy and foul-smelling </li></ul><ul><li>Raw sewage was dumped straight into the Thames River </li></ul>
  12. 12. VICTORIAN LONDON <ul><li>Street sweepers attempt to keep the streets clean of manure, the result of thousands of house-drawn vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>The city’s thousands of chimney pots belch coal smoke resulting in soot settling everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>At night major streets were lit with feeble gas lamps </li></ul><ul><li>Inside a candle or oil lamp was the only form of lighting </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Cholera Epidemic 1831 <ul><li>In 1831 the first cholera epidemic struck Britain; there was a second epidemic in 1847 – 8 </li></ul><ul><li>Cholera caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people but the dreadful living conditions had a far-reaching effect on the death rates </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Cholera Epidemic 1831 <ul><li>Once the disease hit London it spread like wild fire. The capital was filthy, overcrowded with raw sewage everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>The poorer areas were the hardest hit </li></ul><ul><li>But the wealthy were not exempt from contracting the disease - the water supply came from the same filthy source where sewage had been dumped for years - the River Thames </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Workhouses <ul><li>The Victorian ‘Solution’ to dealing with the poor was the New Poor Law of 1834 </li></ul><ul><li>Previously it had been the burden of the Parishes to look after the poor </li></ul><ul><li>The new law required the Parishes to band together to create regional WORKHOUSES where aid could be applied for </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Workhouses <ul><li>The workhouses were little more than Prison for the poor. Civil Liberties were denied, families were separated, and human dignity was destroyed. The true poor often went to great lengths to avoid these </li></ul>
  17. 17. Dickens and the Workhouses <ul><li>A defining moment in Dickens’ childhood was when his father was imprisoned for debt and 12 year old Charles was sent to work in a factory to support his family. </li></ul><ul><li>It was his personal experience of factory work and the living conditions of the poor that created in Dickens the compassion which was to influence his writing in novels such as ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘A Christmas Carol.’ </li></ul>
  18. 18. Scrooge <ul><li>How is the character of Scrooge </li></ul><ul><li>conveyed in the opening chapter? </li></ul><ul><li>Comment on: </li></ul><ul><li>1.Language - listing of verbs, use of comparisons, imagery </li></ul><ul><li>- what impression are we given of his physical appearance? </li></ul><ul><li>2.How is the weather used to mirror Scrooge’s personality? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Scrooge <ul><li>3.Can you spot any of the following a. techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>b.Alliteration </li></ul><ul><li>c.Repetition </li></ul><ul><li>d.Personification </li></ul><ul><li>4.How does Scrooge interact with ordinary People? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Scrooge <ul><li>5.Describe what the working conditions are like for his clerk Bob Cratchit? </li></ul><ul><li>6.How does the physical description of his </li></ul><ul><li>Nephew form a contrast to how Scrooge is </li></ul><ul><li>described ? </li></ul><ul><li>7.How do Scrooge and his Nephew have </li></ul><ul><li>contrasting views towards Christmas ?Look at the differences in what they say . </li></ul>
  21. 21. Scrooge <ul><li>8.How does Dickens show the reader his </li></ul><ul><li>personal opinions of the treatment of the </li></ul><ul><li>poor by the rich (How do we hear Dickens's </li></ul><ul><li>voice) ? </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at sentence structures for effect ? </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Ghost of Christmas Past <ul><li>What Scrooge is shown ? </li></ul><ul><li>How he reacts to the above </li></ul><ul><li>How does all this relate to Dickens’ purposes in writing the novel ? </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Ghost of Christmas Past <ul><li>His employers clearly like Mr. Fezziwig ‘Why it’ s old Fezziwig bless his heart’ </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike Scrooge he is described as ‘jolly’ </li></ul><ul><li>After the party he shakes the hands of all his employers ‘every person individually’ </li></ul><ul><li>The repetition of ‘In came ‘ shows the extent of his gratitude/how many people like him </li></ul><ul><li>‘ No more work, tonight. Christmas eve…’ (contrasts with Scrooge and his treatment of Bob Cratchit) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Scrooge’s Reaction <ul><li>‘ Acted like a man out of his wits’ </li></ul><ul><li>He becomes increasingly ‘agitated’ (repetition of this words emphasises the effect this is having on Scrooge) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ A small matter….to make these silly folks so full of gratitude’ (Spirit) . </li></ul><ul><li>‘ He has but spent a few pounds of your mortal money’ (The Spirit) </li></ul><ul><li>Scrooge immediately reacts to this repeats ‘small’ as if with disgust at the Spirit’s words </li></ul><ul><li>KEY QUOTATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy’ (Scrooge) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now.’(49) </li></ul>
  25. 25. The Ghost of Christmas Past <ul><li>Belle his fiancée leaves him. She </li></ul><ul><li>feels that a ‘golden idol’ has </li></ul><ul><li>replaced her </li></ul><ul><li>KEY QUOTATION </li></ul><ul><li>‘ His partner lies upon the point of </li></ul><ul><li>death, I hear; and there he sat </li></ul><ul><li>alone. Quite alone in the world, I do </li></ul><ul><li>believe.’ (Belle’s husband comment on Scrooge) </li></ul>
  26. 26. The Ghost of Christmas Present <ul><li>‘Spirit’, said Scrooge submissively , ‘conduct me where you will. I went forth last night on compulsion, and I learnt a lesson that is working now. Tonight if you have aught to teach me, let me profit by it.’ </li></ul>
  27. 27. The Ghost of Christmas Present - The Cratchits <ul><li>The Cratchits may be poor but they are clearly happy ‘the family display of glass, two tumblers and a custard cup without a handle.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Mrs. Cratchit despises Scrooge for the way he treats her husband ‘ I would give him a piece of my mind…..’ </li></ul><ul><li>She describes him as ‘an ogre’ and that he ‘casts a dark shadow..’ upon their Christmas Feast </li></ul><ul><li>Despite this Bob C speaks highly of Scrooge ‘ The Founder of this Feast’ </li></ul>
  28. 28. The Ghost of Christmas Present - The Cratchits <ul><li>A key message is that Scrooge has the power over whether Tiny Tim lives or dies ‘ Spirit tell me if Tiny Tim will live or die.’ </li></ul><ul><li>The Spirit replies by saying ‘I see a vacant seat..if these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die.’ </li></ul>
  29. 29. The Ghost of Christmas Present - The Cratchits <ul><li>The Spirit then quotes his own words back at Scrooge ‘ .. Decrease the surplus population.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Scrooge’s reaction shows his guilt ‘hung his head to hear his own words’ ‘overcome with penitence and grief.’ (Penitence means to show ‘remorse for your sins and to want to make amends’) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ At last the dinner was done..’ despite being poor the Cratchits celebrate Christmas for what it is. This is linked to Dickens’ message : </li></ul><ul><li>‘ A merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.’ (Bob Cratchit) </li></ul>
  30. 30. The Ghost of Christmas Present - Fred’s Christmas <ul><li>Page 82 ‘I’m sure he is very rich, Fred,’ hinted Scrooge’s niece </li></ul><ul><li>The following lines are spoken by Fred: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ His wealth is of no use to him…He don’t make himself comfortable with it.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Money is not the route to happiness. He has got no family and he lost his first love Belle. He represents Ignorance </li></ul><ul><li>‘ ..the consequence of his taking a dislike to us, and not making merry with us…he loses some pleasant moments, which could do him no harm.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Scrooge never participates in any Christmas events - he sees it as a waste of time and also money…. The Spirits are trying to show him the benefits of change. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I mean to give him the same chance every year, whether he likes it or not, for I pity him.’ (YOUR READER RESPONSE) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds, that’s something; and I think I shook him yesterday.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Fred that offers Bob help and support after Tiny Tim’s ‘Death’. </li></ul>
  31. 32. The Ghost of Christmas Present - Ignorance and Want <ul><li>Page 91 </li></ul><ul><li>‘ They are Man’s’….. </li></ul><ul><li>They are the responsibiity of humanity(charitable deeds) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Description shows that they have lost their youth (DICKENS also lost his childhood due to his experiences in the workhouse) </li></ul><ul><li>Page 90 – 91** </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Have they no refuge or resource?” </li></ul><ul><li>This comment is highly ironic due to Scroge’s earlier attitude towards the poor.. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Are there no prisons?’ said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no workhouses?’ </li></ul>
  32. 33. The last of the Spirits <ul><li>Page 112 Scrooge’s gravestone ‘overrun…… </li></ul><ul><li>Page 114’ read ….NEGLECTED GRAVE………. </li></ul><ul><li>Scrooge is so determined to change: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I will HONOUR CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART, and try to keep it all the year.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lssons that they have taught me.’ </li></ul>
  33. 34. Scrooge is a Changed Man - ‘The End of It’ <ul><li>How does the presentation of </li></ul><ul><li>Scrooge in this Chapter differ to </li></ul><ul><li>how he is first introduced to us ? </li></ul><ul><li>He is now demonstrating emotions ‘He had been sobbing violently..’ </li></ul><ul><li>A series of positive comparisons ‘ I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel…..’ </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to Dickens’s message is the fact that Scrooge now celebrates Christmas for what it is ‘ A merry Christmas to everybody.’ No longer does he exclaim ‘Hambug </li></ul><ul><li>Active verbs ‘laughing’ ‘crying’ ‘frisked’ repeated again ‘frisking’ , the endless repetition of ‘chuckle’ page 120 </li></ul><ul><li>LEARNING POINT: THE SAME TECHNIQUES BUT FOR A DIFFERENT EFFECT </li></ul>
  34. 35. Scrooge is a Changed Man - ‘The End of It’ <ul><li>The portly gentleman are given a large sum for charity page 120. Judging by their reaction, it must be a large sum ‘My dear Mr.Scrooge are you serious?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction with people – ‘ Scrooge regarded everyone with a delighted smile.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ patted children on their heads and questioned beggars’ </li></ul><ul><li>Fred’s Christmas – Scrooge visits his house and wishes him a Merry Christmas </li></ul><ul><li>The Cratchits - prize turkey, Bob has a rise in his salary (double) </li></ul>
  35. 36. Scrooge is a Changed Man - ‘The End of It’ <ul><li>The novel ends with Tiny Tim’s words ‘ God bless us everyone’. Why do think Dickens chose to end this novel in this way ? </li></ul><ul><li>Tiny Tim as a symbol of ‘Want’ the less fortunate that Scrooge has neglected and also of the family that he has now lost. As a result the ending has a more lasting impact on the readers. </li></ul><ul><li>Charles Dickens is conveying that everyone should be capable of having a merry christmas despite your social status. </li></ul><ul><li>In conclusion Dickens has achieved his aims in writing the novel </li></ul>
  36. 37. Scrooge is a Changed Man - ‘The End of It’