‘ It is clear that Fred isn’t bothered if people do not like his uncle, he is a very proud and sincere man. Scrooge is less loving towards his nephew, he doesn’t accept Fred’s Merry Christmas and nor does he listen to his advice. Scrooge is known to forget that Fred is his nephew several times in the novel, ‘Sometimes I forget that he is my sister’s son’, Scrooge says to the spirit. Scrooge was very close to his sister, she was one of the few friends Scrooge had but unfortunately died. Scrooge is described as a solitary child neglected by his friends.
The ghost also shows that after Scrooge leaves school he is very mean and because he is very lonely his only ‘friend’ is his money. We can see this in a scene with his girlfriend as he has to decide love of money, he chooses money and once again he is alone. When Scrooge sees himself neglecting his girlfriend for money he gets very angry and depressed, ‘no more, no more! ‘ It is as if he is begging the spirit to stop torturing and playing with his mind, he realises now that he was ignorant, inconsiderate and brainwashed by the concept of money.
Scrooge is so busy with his business and money making he forgets how to enjoy Christmas. This is shown in several scenes. Firstly, it is shown near the beginning of the novel, Scrooge’s nephew Fred wishes Scrooge a merry Christmas but Scrooge refuses to accept it, ‘Merry Christmas! What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough’. Scrooge sarcastically shrugs off Fred saying that he is poor enough to be merry. This is a very negative ignorant attitude towards Christmas. It shows that scrooge thinks that money is more important then enjoying your life. Scrooge has abandoned his family life for money.
Another indication of Scrooge being over concerned about his business over enjoying Christmas and thinking about others less fortunate than him is when he is approached by two men wanting charity for the poor. Scrooge sarcastically tells them that he wouldn’t want to wish them any money for charity, ‘I don’t make merry of myself at Christmas, and I can’t afford to make idol people merry’. When Scrooge is told about poor people and how they could die if enough money is not raised, he inconsiderately replies to the men, ‘If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population’.
This is an extremely ignorant comment made by Scrooge and it just shows what a selfish man he is. This quote that Scrooge had made comes back to haunt him when the second spirit reminds Scrooge of the pitiful things he had said. Dickens mostly describes children and family enjoying their life on Christmas, however in contrast to this he also portrays children and family suffering and pleading for help. For instance this is vigorously shown when the second spirit shows Scrooge the ignorance and want children.
Dickens portrays the children in a very cruel negative way, he describes them as if the children are not even human, ‘no perversion of humanity’. This is indicating to the reader that the children are corrupt in their mind, they are almost monsters. Dickens uses spiteful words to describe the children’s features, ‘yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish, but prostrate, too, in their own humility’. The children are almost described as animals, they are yellow, they are abnormal and scowl like wolfs.
Dickens uses frightening imagery, ‘where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing’. Dickens may have described the children in this way to show to the Victorian readers that this is the way we have been treating children and if we don’t improve our behaviour they might turn into uncivilised monsters as described. Another example of Dickens portraying children and family in a negative way is in the scene where Dickens is showing Scrooge’s experience with Marley’s Ghost. Dickens describes to the reader what Scrooge sees, ‘a wretched woman with an infant’.
This is a very negative description used by Dickens, he uses the word ‘wretched’ to describe the woman’s features, this almost means that the women is so miserable that she is a subhuman. The child of the women is described as an ‘infant’, this hints to the reader that the child is insignificant and unwanted by its own mother as it is her ‘infant’. At the end of the novel Dickens exciting and expressive writing style is clearly shown. He starts describing the scene on Christmas Day in a very cheerful emotional way, and as he does Scrooge’s attitude also changes.
Scrooge becomes full of energy with happiness. Dickens uses many exclamation marks to show his excitement, so too does Scrooge after every line he speaks. On Christmas Day Scrooge is full of Christmas spirit, ‘A Merry Christmas to everybody! ‘. He shouts out of his window to a boy walking pasts and treats him with the utmost respect and care, ‘Hallo, my fine fellow! ‘. This shows Scrooge’s change of attitude towards the importance of children. He kindly asks the boy to go and get him a turkey and even offers him money.
Scrooge praises the boy almost madly as if the boy has done something exceptional, ‘A remarkable boy! ‘. Every emotion Scrooge had was exaggerated. He compassionately delivered the prize turkey to Bob Cratchits family, acknowledging what the second spirit showed him of the Cratchits miniature Christmas lunch. Scrooge also paid a visit to Fred’s house. He realised the importance of family, at first he was tense waiting outside his nephew’s house gathering his thoughts on what to do, but at last he gathers all his wit and entered with confidence and friendship.
Fred was delighted to see that Scrooge had joined them for lunch, you can tell this by the descriptions Dickens uses to describe the scene, ‘It is a mercy that he didn’t shake his arm off! ‘ Fred is ecstatic to see Scrooge, he welcomes him to the table, ‘Why bless my soul’. For the first time in Scrooge’s life he socialises with people and most of all he had a great time with his family and friends. Scrooge has changed so much, he even shows humour in a scene with Bob Cratchit at work.
Scrooge uses sarcasm and acts like his old self growling at Bob Cratchit for being late for work. Bob becomes very afraid and pleads for apology but Scrooge continues to be sarcastic, finally Scrooge tells Bob Crachit that he would raise his salary. However, Bob Crachit thinks that Scrooge is obviously gone mad and picks up a ruler to defend himself. ‘A Merry Christmas Bob! ‘, said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken’. Bob Crachit soon realised that Scrooge was being serious of his word and was speechless.
In the end of the novel Scrooge turned out to become a very helpful, cheerful and grateful man. He became aware of the importance of his family. Most importantly he helped out all the poor families who needed his assistants especially the closely-knitted Crachit family. He helped poor children such as Tiny Tim, to such an accent that Dickens described Scrooge as Tiny Tim’s ‘second farther’. Dickens uses the word ‘good’ seven times in one sentence to round up a description about Scrooge, this is a highly contrasting description to the previous ones about him.
It shows that Scrooge has totally changed his personality and attitude. Dickens makes his readers aware of the important role of children and family in A Christmas Carol in many ways. He writes in an emotional child like way, whilst still writing in a professional successful manner. Dickens uses many different types of techniques to describe the different situations in the novel. His writings challenged the views of the Victorian society and for that reason Dickens emphasised his writings on the importance of the role of children and family.