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A Christmas carol was written in 1843, by Charles Dickens, who was
born in 1812 at Portsea, in Hampshire.
A Christmas Carol as a great success. In its text, were many social
issues that concerned Dickens. He wanted to highlight the plight of
bad working conditions, child labour and the poor education system, at
the time of writing. Dickens knew that the poor could be helped by the
rich upper class.
Dickens drew Scrooge as a stereotypical figure as he compared him to
the rich men, who miserly gave nothing to the poor. Scrooge had a mean
look, a grey-haired, cold look. He was a "tight-fisted hand at the
grindstone", "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching,
covetous old sinner!" he gave nothing to anybody. He had lots of
money, but was never generous with it.
The way he treated the poor represented the way that the Victorian
upper class treated the needy; he had no time to help others. Dickens
wanted to change what Scrooge represented.
Stave One begins with the emphasis that Marley - Scrooges old business
partner -, was dead. "Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail".
Marley was much like Scrooge. They were both tight-fisted, mean and
cold. Scrooge was his only friend, "his sole executor of the will",
his "Sole administrator", "his sole assign, his sole friend and his
Scrooge was as "solitary as an Oyster", "the cold within his features,
nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait
(walk), made his eyes red, his thin lips blue and spoke out shrewdly
in his grating voice. A frost rhyme was on his head, and on his
eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature,
always about with him". This is the main description of Scrooge in the
book. His appearance makes him seem unsympathetic.
Marley was exactly the same as Scrooge. He had been the closest living
person to Scrooge on earth. It was difficult to tell them apart, "no
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ever asked him what it was o'clock". He is reluctant to give Bob
Cratchit more coal, and even more reluctant to let him have Christmas
Scrooge and Marley were the best of friends, and each other's only
friends. On Christmas Eve Scrooge returned home. He walked through the
dark, dim, dirty streets and came up to his "black old gateway". It
was seven years to the day since Marley had died. Scrooge walked up to
his door and looked at the knocker. The knocker changed immediately
into the face of Marley, then transformed back into the large, iron
knocker again. This startled Scrooge, "it looked at Scrooge, as how
Marley used to look". Scrooge wouldn't believe what he had just seen.
His simple door knocker had turned into his deceased partner, his only
friend had the only person in the whole of the world that he had
Scrooge then dismissed it. "B'ahâ€¦.Humbug!". But he was worried. He
"double locked" himself in, which was "not his custom" "On each, some
picture on it's surface from the disjointed fragment of his thoughts,
there would have been a copy of old Marley's head on every one".
Again, not wanting to belive this, he said, "Humbug!", "Humbug still,
I won't believe it". When the ghost came, the bells had been ringing,
and sounds described as "Dragging Chains".
"The cellar floor flew open, with a booming sound, and he heard the
noise much louder
on the floor below, then coming up the stairs, then straight towards
Scrooge then still didn't believe it, but for once he was scared, he
was frightened. For once, Scrooge was showing emotion.
"His colour changed, when, without a pause, Marleys ghost came on
through the heavy door, and passed into the room, before his eyes".
The fire that surrounded the entrance of Marley's ghost was leaping up
as if it was crying. "I know him, Marley's ghost!".
Scrooge recognised Marley straight away, he was dressed in the same
attire he used for work, "and in his pigtail, usual waist coat, tights
and boots, the at the waist code brisling, like his pig tear and his
coat skirts, and a his hair and on his head.