Christmas carol is a novel written by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) during the Victorian times in London. For me to explore the moral messages I feel it is important to acknowledge exactly what the message is. Charles Dickens throughout the novel communicates; Charity, goodwill, family, kindliness and humility as moral messages, however, I personally feel Charles Dickens most powerful and important messages are Goodwill, Family and Charity however I will still look at all moral messages as they all play an important role in A Christmas Carol.
In the book Christmas, stave 2, the ghost of Christmas past takes scrooge on several visits on which he learns important moral messages. Scrooge’s first trip is visiting his old boarding school and he sees himself when he was young and abandoned for Christmas. “There were a singing a boy singing a Christmas card at my door last night I should have liked to have given him something that’s all. ” From this trip Scrooge learns Kindliness. Scrooge was not shown any as a child, which tells the reader why he is damning of it now.
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Seeing this makes Scrooge regret scaring away the Christmas carol singers that afternoon. We know that Jacob Marley was dead and he died before the story started. Scrooge experienced a visit by Jacob Marley and said that if he didn’t change he would end up like him, he has to give in and realise that he may need to change his ways, his own experiences make he relent. Another moral message Dickens tries to communicate with the reader is charity.It is when the ghost of Christmas present takes him to the home of Bob Cratchitt one of his workers; “it is such a meagre feast” And this is where Scrooge sees the London’s poorest and he notices how grateful the family really are and appreciate each other for who they are and what they have got.
He’s sees how little food they have got, and from this visit Scrooge learns the moral of Charity. Dickens has communicated this moral quite well as he knows what it was like to be a poor London family as he was ne himself, his family was unable to pay debts as they weren’t earning enough money, therefore Dickens left school to work in a factory at the age of 12, his life was awful and had no hope for what the future would bring. Therefore Scrooge was a good example to symbolize the moral charity as he was the minority, which was rich, tight, and inconsiderate, he was a cold hearted, lonesome man and was not bothered about the poor as long as he had money he didn’t care about any one else. In a Christmas Carol Dickens also communicates goodwill to which Scrooge also is reluctant to give Bob Cratchitt the whole of Christmas day off.
You’ll want all day off to-morrow, I suppose? ” Said Scrooge. Here scrooge demonstrates goodwill but at a force because he doesn’t to give him the day. To which Bob replies “if quite convenient, sir. ” Immediately Scrooge states that it isn’t convenient and it’s not fair.
“A poor excuse for picking a mans pocket every twenty-fifth December! ” the phrase “picking a mans pocket” shows that Scrooge compares Bob having the day off to practically stealing from him, also Scrooge sees this as a waste of a days pay for no work which is to why he said “but I suppose you must have the whole day, be here all the earlier next morning. This is harsh but seeing Scrooges ways it is to no surprise he said this. Dickens use of language was used to get the moral message goodwill across. Humility is another moral message, which Dickens tries to communicate with the reader. And this is done in Stave 3 with the ghost of Christmas Present.
The spirit shows Scrooge how Christmas is celebrated in the Cratchitt’s family, here he sees how the Cratchitt, despite being a poor London family can be happy at Christmas. Having a large family Bob and his wife struggle as they have six children and Tiny Tim.Scrooge sees that Tiny Tim is frail to which Scrooge ask whether he will live.
The ghost replies and tells him that unless things change in the future then the child will die. From this reply Scrooge is reminded from his words in Stave 1; “ if he be like to die he had better do it and decrease the surplus population. ” Scrooge is humbled by the Cratchitt’s gratitude over what little they have and he learns that as long as you have family you don’t need money. Lastly, family is a moral message to which dickens tries to communicate with the reader and this is shown in stave3. The ghost takes Scrooge to places outside of the London area he sees a family of miners in a hut on a barren moor, two lighthouse keepers and sailors on a ship; and they all know they have got each other but no matter what they will celebrate as much as they want, even though there not with their family they have their friends. This all made them aware to act more kindly to one another as its Christmas. Fred – Scrooge’s nephew is having a Christmas party and Scrooge is taken and shown by the sprit.
Fred explains that Scrooge is to be pitied, not despised.And his money does him no good; Fred then explains, “”his offences carry their own punishment”. The guesses of the party then play a game to find the identity of a thing to which questions asked can only be answered to Yes or No. The guests are then amused by the fact when Fred wife sister guesses that the mystery object is Scrooge.
The mystery object was described as unwanted and this made Scrooge leave and he had come to a conclusion that things need to change. The end of Stave 3 is left in an unusual way sort of a cliffhanger.As the night becomes to an end meaning midnight the spirit starts to age and shrinks because he lives and represents one Christmas only. Now Scrooge sees, under the Spirit’s robe, two horribly and ugly children and as described in the book “ Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Here dickens use of language is very descriptive and makes good use of adjectives. Scrooge then asks “Spirit! Are they yours? ” “They are man’s,” said the spirit. The boy is ignorance. The girl is want.
These children are representing the London’s poor homeless children ans it shows they are a product of society and therefore everybody’s responsibility. Earlier on in the book before he had learnt anything he pushed the carol singers away- charity. He also quoted “ are there no prisons? ” and when he saw these children he said “are there no refuge or resources? ” this is clearly showing that is he really changing? And for that he feels shame, as the ghost disappears, he sees coming towards him the last of the spirits.
Stave 4: Last of the Spirits In this stave we meet a ghost we would normally picture in our head.It is a hooded phantom, you cannot see his face and instead of speaking he points, and his name is Ghost of Christmas yet to come, perhaps this ghost was the representation of death. The novel then starts to talk about a wealthy man in London, who everyone is talking about. Old Joe then buys stolen goods from three people; the laundry women- Mrs Dilber, a cleaner these people have been stealing from a dead man they have been stealing curtains from his bed and the shirt off his back. From seeing this Scrooge ask to see some “emotion caused by this man’s death”. He sees a couple that owed the dead man money.The only emotion shown by the people and who owed scrooge money was happiness and relief because they no longer had to worry, about a mean tight cold-hearted man. Scrooge then visits the Cratchitt’s household again, they are talking about the death and preparing for the funeral being held, but then realises they are mourning over the death of Tiny Tim.
Scrooge is still enquiring the death of the mysterious man with no identity and the ghost then shows him an ugly churchyard “overrun by grass and weeds”, and here he sees his own name, he realises that he is the man whom people have been talking about.Scrooge is horrified that people haven’t shown emotion, only happiness. Scrooge then begs the spirit to tell him whether he has seen what will be or what may be. He thinks that the spirit is showing him these to pity him and hoping that he promises to change, as this could be him.
Finally in A Christmas Carol it may look like that Scrooge has changed as Scrooge himself shouted from a window, to ask the young boy what day it is and the boy is surprised he was asked as this was Christmas day. We learn that Scrooge must be learning his moral message of kindliness as he asks the boy to get the prize turkey for Bob Cratchitt.He also proves that he has learnt the moral Charity as he whispers to a man he sent away earlier in the book, he promise to give a lot of money, as the gentlemen doubts whether he is serious. Scrooge explains that his donation includes “a great many back-payments”. Scrooge is now changing immensely as he then proved he has learnt the moral message family as he visits Fred’s house and enjoys the party.
He later proves he has learnt goodwill as he visits Bob on Boxing Day and tells him “stand for this sort of thing any longer” as if to sack him, but instead he raised his salary.At first, naturally Bob suspected something but when Scrooge carried on being kind he knew it wasn’t a dream. The story ends with an account of how Scrooge becomes a “second father” to Tiny Tim “who did NOT die” but he would have if Scrooge didn’t change and learns his lessons, but receives no more visits from the ghosts. Scrooge has changed his life so much you wouldn’t even remember the old heartless man there once was, people laugh at the new him but he let them as he isn’t going to change and go back to his normal ways.
Dickens ends by repeating Tiny Tim’s Christmas blessing: “God bless Us, Every One! ” The novel is dominated to one character ~ Ebenezer Scrooge. The point of the story is to show how and why he changes. As a young man in poverty he enjoys working with Mr. Fezziwig he later does not find pleasure in wealth he does not spend or give money away free willingly, Marley comes to warn him that he must change. The first two Spirits help Scrooge realise life in a better way and sees and help him to live life in a better way.He feels his feelings and these are the biggest clue to changing who he is. Scrooge makes connection with the past and he liked what was there and he now knows he need to change. I think that Dickens have chosen to use a character who hates Christmas meaning Scrooge not only because some of this story reflects of Dickens personal experience but because if he can change someone like scrooge any one can change no matter who they as long as there prepared to change.
Above, are the moral messages Dickens tries to communicate with the reader to what I understand.