In the same way the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge what Christmas is will be like this year without him and how it could be him celebrating with them too. He also reveals what people think of Scrooge. Over Bob Cratchits’ Christmas dinner Mrs Cratchit refuses to drink to the health of Scrooge. She says “It should be Christmas Day, I am sure, on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. ” None of the Cratchits cared about Scrooge. “The mention of his name cast a dark shadow on the party, which was not dispelled for a full five minutes.
” This is a contrast with what really happens when the large turkey from Scrooge is delivered on Christmas Day. Even Scrooge’s nephew feels sorry for him. “Who suffer by his ill whims! Himself, always…… for I pity him. ” Scrooge was touched in the same way as the reader is by Tiny Tim. “… even Tiny Tim, excited by the two young Cratchits, beat on the table with the handle of his knife, and feebly cried Hurrah! ” Scrooge wants to know more about Tiny Tim. “… say he will be spared. ” Scrooge begins to see the consequences of his actions.
“If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. ” The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come reveals how things will be if he does not change. He shows Scrooge the death of a young, helpless child, Bob Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim. He also shows him what things will be like after he dies if he doesn’t change. This ghost shows what people thought of Scrooge too. “He frightened every one away from him when he was alive, to profit us when he was dead. ” Others were pleased about his death. “… it was a happier house for this man’s death!
” There are some men talking in the street about Scrooge’s death. One said “What has he done with his money. ” “I haven’t heard… ” replied the other “Left it to his company, perhaps. He hasn’t left it to me. That’s all I know. ” Another man joined in and said “It’s likely to be a cheap funeral, for upon my life I don’t know of anybody to go to it. ” Dickens shows the conditions of the poor, using Tiny Tim, whose parents couldn’t afford to pay for him to be cured from his disease, as Scrooge did not pay his father well.
I think that the role of Tiny Tim was very effective because it was intensely sad and it touched everybody’s hearts, even the middle class, it made them feel guilty as they had not given any money to charity. Bob Cratchits family were very poor. Dickens writes “Then up rose Mrs Cratchit, Cratchit’s wife, dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show for six pence. ” The Ghost of Christmas Present also reveals conditions of the time. Dickens writes “The house fronts looked black enough, and the windows blacker, contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs…
” Dickens uses the contrast between black and white to show the contrast with the dirty windows and the clean white snow. “The sky was gloomy… a dingy mist, half thawed, half frozen… ” The climate of the area represents the feeling of the people who live there. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows us how the poor steal Scrooge’s belongings after he dies and sell them to a second hand shop in exchange for money. The lady in the second hand shop said “You don’t mean to say you took them down, rings and all, with him lying there?
” The poor had to steal in order to survive. Dickens’s solutions to poverty and these problems were for Scrooge to raise Bob Cratchit’s salary in order for him to be able to afford treatment for Tiny Tim’s disease, and also for Scrooge to become a charitable person and celebrate Christmas. “… and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. ” Scrooge changed just as he had promised the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. “I am not the man I was… assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life”
When Dickens wrote about the social conditions he did not write exactly how it was as the middle class would not have believed that conditions were all that terrible. A study of the poor written by Mayhew at the same time shows us what conditions were really like. The reality was that the poor would do anything for money, they would even result in killing rats with their teeth. “I killed them like a dog, with my teeth. I went down on my hands and knees and bit them. I’ve done it three times for a sov’rin. ” Others were so poor that they had nothing to eat and some would even die of hunger.
“This winter oft enough he brings me and the children home 2s. or 1s. 6d. after a job; on that we may live for two or three days, – we’re half starved, in course. The children have nothing to eat. It’s enough to tear any poor woman’s heart to pieces. What’s gone into the publican’s till would get the children bread, and bedding and bits of clothes. ” Wives of ballast-heavers were beaten by their drunk husbands. “Nothing but his being employed at ballast-heaving made him a drunkard, for he is a drunkard now. He often comes home and ill-uses me, but he doesn’t ill-use the children.
He beats me with fists; he strikes me in the face; he has kicked me. When he was a sober man he was a kind, good husband; and when he’s sober now, poor man, he’s a kind, good husband still. ” Treadmills were used in prisons as a punishment. Work began at six o’clock in the morning and prisoners usually spent the whole day completing pointless tasks. Many of the tasks the prisoners were made to do were sometimes degrading, they were often exhausting and they always meant that the prisoners had to repeat the same strenuous task over and over again for no particular reason.
The treadmill was made up of a treadwheel, a big iron frame of steps around a revolving cylinder. The convicts were required to trudge up the steps in separate compartment for six hours a day. Some were made to turn a crank in a box of gravel, completing ten thousand revolutions (turns of the crank) before their labour was considered done. Other punishments were to pick pieces of old rope to pieces through the use of iron in the building of ships and rendered the resultant oakum (little bit of the rope) virtually unsaleable.
Dickens interpretation of the treadmill was very brief, yet Scrooge saw it as an escape from poverty for the poor. “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then? ” Dickens description of the treadmill wasn’t anything like the reality. In A Christmas Carol Dickens’s aim was to change people like Scrooge into people who are charitable and caring towards the poor. I think that the book was written in such a skilful way that it served its purpose in a rewarding way.