Before the spirit departs, Scrooge catches a sight of a pair of starving children, the allegorical twins.
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Their names are Ignorance and Want. They represent the people pf this world that are ignorant and just want more and more. They have to be fought in this society. Scrooge inquires if nothing can be done to help them.
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Mockingly, the ghost quotes Scrooge's statement, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouse? The spirit disappears as the clock strikes midnight. Dickens uses the spirit to represent empathy, enabling Scrooge to not only see the Crachits but also to feel sorrow and hardships of their daily life. Dickens uses this scene to show that Christmas should stimulate within people a concern for wants and need of others.
Dickens is trying to show the middle class or upper class readers a sentimental portrait of the lower classes. He is also trying to awaken the readers to the harsh realities of poverty. After the second spirit leaves, Scrooge sees the ghost of Christmas present. He is a phantom dressed in a black hooded robe. He does not talk, but guides Scrooge by pointing. He takes him to a place where a group of businessmen talk about the death of a rich man. Next Scrooge sees a group of pawnbrokers selling stolen clothing from a dead man.
A Christmas Carol
They talk about how no one attends his funeral. Scrooge is pitiful of the person. He is taken to where a husband and wife express relief at the death of an unforgiving man whom they owed money; Scrooge feels pity for the unloved rich man. He asks to see a death which is mourned. He is taken to the Crachit household. He sees the sadness Tiny Tims death caused and thinks of ways he could have prevented this. Finally Scrooge is taken to a gravestone; he begs to know the identity of the dead man.
Stunned, Scrooge begs the spirit to undo the events. He promises to honor Christmas from deep within his heart. As Scrooge begs for mercy, the ghost disappears and Scrooge finds himself at home in his own bed. The last scene serves to remind Scrooge of his fate if he did not change his ways. By the end of the novel we can see that Scrooge has changed a great deal. He has changed from a selfish and inconsiderate man to a charitable, caring man with a kind heart.
His behavior changes due to a mixture of shock, fear and guilty conscience.
In the place of his misanthropic, misery self, is warmth, generosity and goodwill. He learns the ability to understand other people's feelings. The end of the novel Dickens uses lighter language. Dickens shows an image of a new and changed character.
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Scrooge gives generously to the poor. Scrooge visits his nephew to celebrate Christmas. He also gives Bob Crachit a rise.
He apologizes for his past bitterness. Tiny Tim is saved due to Scrooge's generous actions. The famous last words of the novel "God bless us, every one!
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Empathy enables Scrooge to sympathize with and understand those less fortunate than himself, people like Tiny Tim and Bob Crachit. In this novel Charles Dickens attacks the poor laws.
They were laws governing the underclass Victorians. He exposes the weaknesses of the government that restricts the poor to work houses or life imprisonment. Dickens' portrayal of Crachit puts a human face on the poorer classes. The moral of the story is that we are not in this world for our own benefit only but more important others. The human in A Christmas Carol serves no purpose.
Scrooge is a minor character in his own novel. What role does social criticism play in A Christmas Carol?
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