In Stave 3 how does Dickens use language and structure to build up a picture of the joy of Christmas Present? How does this reflect Victorian Reality? I’m going to analyse stave 3 of a Christmas carol, Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. In 1836 Dickens published the first part in a serialisation called The Posthumous papers of the Pickwick club better known as The Pickwick papers. In 1843 he wrote his first and most famous Christmas story, A Christmas Carol.
Victorians in those times, a lot of them lived in poverty, and they were lots of large families living in one house. It was in industrial era and most people worked in factories, which were very unhygienic, this really relates to Dickens life style when he was growing up. When he was growing Dickens’s father lost a lot of money and then was imprisoned so Dickens had to leave school and work at a young age. Stave Three is the part where the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge on his educational journey into other people’s houses to show Scrooge what goes on.
In these various and not always wealthy places he learns a very special lesson – that Christmas and the season of Good Will is important to poor and rich alike. The stave starts with the appearance of the second ghost. But at first, he cant see the ghost, this builds up the expectation on the reader’s mind as we wait to see what the second ghost will look like we later find out that the ghost is in the other room. The ghost is large and with him brings a massive collection of Christmas goodies.
“Heaped on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cheery-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. ” Dickens uses this long listed sentence to enforce the nature of Christmas present. This is like a list and overwhelms the reader with good things. However Dickens then focuses on the appearance of the Christmas Present.
In this description Dickens uses powerful words to exaggerate the qualities of the ghost. “Capacious… shining… dark… deep green… genial… sparkling… open… cheery… unconstrained… joyful. ” By Dickens uses these words have a very big impact on the readers because it by using these words it creates a big picture of the story. Then Dickens finishes on describing the appearance of the ghost of Christmas Present. They then go to visit Bob Cratchit’s house, but on their journey they pass all sorts of people, rich, poor etc. They are all enjoying Christmas no matter what they have or haven’t got.
“And so it was! God love it, so it was! ” There is no quarrelling and bickering on Christmas day, well not according to Dickens. This really addresses the reader and involves them in the novel; Dickens here is making his own seasonal message about peace and good will to all men. When Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas present finally reach the Cratchit’s house they find them all having a good time, getting into the Christmas spirit, especially Mrs Cratchit who is ” dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons”.
This shows that Mrs Cratchit is the sort of person who makes the best of everything she has. This is the same reality of the majority of Victorians, most Victorians only really had one pair of clothes, but wore it until they couldn’t wear them no more. Dickens also describes the cheapness of the goose. “There never was such a goose”. Bob Cratchit had said he didn’t believe there was such a goose cooked “Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were themes of universal admiration”.