How a year. The conditions on the streets

How does Dickens show the way Scrooge changes from Miser to Man of the city in ‘A Christmas Carol’? At the time “A Christmas Carol” was set, there was a massive difference between the lives of the rich and poor in London. The rich had private education ad the poor didn’t go to school. The upper class earned as much as 32 times more than the working class. The average wage of working class man was about 25 pounds a year. The conditions on the streets where the poor lived were dirty, smelly, crowded and they were confined to small back to back houses, which were often shared.

They conditions on the street only started to change because the rich people started to experience the same problems the poor did. At the start of the novel, Scrooge is described as “hard and sharp as flint”. This means he is strong and cannot be broke easily, physically or emotionally. He has no feeling or care about anybody except himself. He is also described a being as “Solitary as an Oyster”. This clearly describes to the reader that he is a self-contained person, who likes to be alone, although he lives in a crowded town in inner London.

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“Clutching covetous old sinner” is what Scrooge is described as. His clutching hand is like a grabbing machine at a fun fair, grabbing and grabbing till there is nothing left. He enjoys squeezing the life out of people and making there live a living hell. “A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scarping”, this long list of adjectives, all of which are bad, describe fully what sort of character Scrooge is. They shows that he is determined to make life hell, by squeezing the life out of them and scrapes every last penny he can find, even taking the clothes off of people’s backs.

When the gentleman visits Scrooge and asks him for a charitable donation, Scrooge turns sour and acts if there is no one there. “Are there no prisons”, Scrooge takes a look up. This suggests to people that Scrooge is as bad and if he is happy with dealing with the system of the poor, the people who invented the workhouses are stubborn, solitary and sly just like Scrooge. Scrooge a twisted, heartbreaking, old crook tells the gentleman, that “I wish to be alone”. This shows the audience that he doesn’t interact with other people and only cares about himself.

The ghost takes Scrooge back to his schooldays, where he was is lonely and miserable as he is now. “A lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire” Scrooge can remember this person very well, he starts crying which indicates to us that inside that body of gold there is a person, a person reaching out to be noticed. He starts to have pity on the poor boy in the corner which was him. Scrooge regrets what he did the other night when a boy comes and knocks at the door. This is shown by “I should have given him something: that’s all”. This means that he wished he gave him something, I don’t deserve it!

All his family, especially his sister, were excited about Christmas. This is shown by “We’re to be together all the Christmas long”. This changes Scrooge because he can’t let his sister down and ruin Christmas for all. Scrooge’s first employer, Mr Fezziwig, paid for a Christmas ball for all his employers. Scrooge at this point liked Christmas, expect the financial pay outs. You can tell this by “His heart and soul were in the scene”. This shows that Scrooge enjoyed the party, but he was not full of Gratitude. He was furious that Mr Fezziwig had used some of his money to pay for the party.

You can tell this by “He has spent three or four pounds of your money and is that so much that he does not deserve the praise”. This shows that Scrooge, even from a young age was obsessed with money and had no intentions on spending on anyone but himself. When Scrooge goes and sees Mr Cratchit’s family enjoying a Christmas dinner at their family home, Scrooge becomes very emotional, when he is told tiny Tim might not live. You can tell this by “Oh, no, kind Spirit. Say he will be spared”. This shows that he does have a heart of gold underneath his hard, indestructible shell of a body.