Charles Dickens use of writing as a tool to change society in A Christmas Carol

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?Charles Dickens used much of his writing as a tool to change society. How does he attempt this in ?A Christmas Carol? and to what extent does he succeed??

During Victorian Britain, 1837-1901, the population of the country grew immensely. By the start of the twentieth century, there were three times as many people as there was at the beginning of the previous century. This led to a huge shortage of housing and work, for people to earn money towards their family budget. As there were too many workers in industries, each person was paid very little money and because of that they all had to work for very long hours. Therefore, children had to work too as they were expected to contribute to the family budget. Their size was often taken advantage of as they were sent to do very dangerous jobs which adults could not do for very long hours. Nevertheless, they only received a small amount of wages.

The shortage in housing resulted in people having to settle for extreme and crowded conditions.

?Hideous slums, some of them acres wide and some more than

crannies obscure misery, make up a substantial part of metropolis .........In big, once handsome houses, thirty or more people of all

ages may inhabit a single room?.

They had to live in such small rooms amongst so many others and they regularly died of starvation. There were also many poor civilians that passed away because of diseases. This was because sewers ran straight down the middle of the streets, often merging with the drinking water that was around. Also, the shortage of housing meant that the rich and the poor lived side by side as the cramped houses of the poor were right next to the large and spacious ones of the wealthy.

This was the same chapter of history in which Charles Dickens grew up in and he, like many others, was from a poor family. At a very young age, he was forced to begin work as his father had been arrested.
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