Scrooge is a solitary character who thinks he doesn’t need support of others, however the Ghost of Christmas present shows him how companionship and friends can help make the bad situations tolerable or even enjoyable by showing Scrooge the miners, the people in the lighthouse, the sailors and the sick people in hospital. Even though the people in hospital may have been on deaths door and the people in the mines, the lighthouse and the ship are cold, lonely and don’t have the Christmas dinner all of them would need, they manage to wish the people with them merry Christmas, and despite the conditions they manage to smile and be happy.
It is important that Scrooge saw this because he needed to see how people can be happy even though they aren’t as fortunate as him and how he was being ignorant in the way he wasn’t grateful for what he had which so many others didn’t. Being shown different groups of people and seeing how they are coping with their hardships highlights Scrooge’s meanness and contempt for poor and unfortunate people. He is made to look shallow and small-minded and realises it himself. The ghost makes out another point to Scrooge when he warns him of ignorance and want.
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These are portrayed as two horrible children. ‘This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy’ (Page 94). The ghost warns Scrooge of ignorance because he is predicting that if Scrooge continues to be ignorant of poverty he will be doomed, that is the implication that Scrooge himself may be heading towards death. When Scrooge asks if there is no refuge or resource for these children the ghost quotes Scrooges heartless comment about the prisons and the workhouses.
Dickens is very effective in describing the conditions in which his characters lived. For example, a lot of the time he uses triplets. ‘It was cold, bleak, biting weather’ (Page 35). Here, Dickens uses the triplets to describe the weather because it emphasizes each of the adjectives more, making the passage more vivid. Another technique used by Dickens to enhance his descriptions is making long lists of adjectives. ‘a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! (Page 34).
It is an unusual but effective way of describing Scrooge using so many adjectives builds up a more detailed picture of Scrooge. Instead of just saying, ‘Scrooge was a covetous old sinner’ Dickens uses the list of adjectives before to build it up to a climax. I think a lot of the points Dickens makes in a Christmas Carol are still relevant to us today. Money can still affect our lives greatly, there is still a lot of poverty and we should learn to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves.
It is important that we don’t forget all the suffering and poverty just because we don’t see it everyday. Dickens was comparatively well off in the time he wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ and it is likely that he had a guilty conscience about the conditions the poor people are living in. He used ‘A Christmas Carol’ to raise the awareness of the upper classes, as many of them were probably ignorant of the extent of the problems. We can also learn some of the lessons that the spirits taught Scrooge by being grateful for what we have that so many others don’t have.