Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol is an allegorical tale that functions to educate Dickens’ society. His novella explores how the people living in poverty were disregarded by the wealthy, first class citizens.
Furthermore, Dickens highlights how kindness and virtuousness can be used to overcome difficulty and hardship. However, regardless of the apparent allegories, Dickens’ story is a fiction to spread positive messages and to entertain readers. Ergo, A Christmas Carol undergoes educational intents, but also shows a heartwarming Christmas story.
Throughout A Christmas Carol, Dickens’ portrayal of social stratification is transparent. In stark contrast to the comfortable living conditions of the wealthy, Dickens demonstrates the difference in social class through the “crime… filth and misery” that the lower class are subjected to. Furthermore, Dickens also shows that the poor are just an excessive nuisance to the rich, this is demonstrated when Scrooge was asked to donate money to the less fortunate and he retorted with “I cannot afford to make idle people merry”. It is lucid that Scrooge, like the rest of the upper class, do not think of the underprivileged as people, but as an inconvenience. Moreover, Dickens features on ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Want’, two children who are figurative of the poor. They validate how the poor are abandoned and mistreated by the higher classes.
Additionally, Dickens endorses how goodness can be used to prevent poverty and adversity, and how humanity can only be bettered if the rich help the poor. Dickens conveys this by stressing a crucial point in Scrooge’s transformation, where he realises that Bob Cratchit has a family to support, and more importantly, the prospect of Tiny Tim’s death. He sends a giant turkey to Bob and his family, raises his low salary and becomes a ‘second father’ to Tiny Tim, ‘who did not die’ as a result of Scrooges charitable acts.
Conversely, even with the clear morals, Dickens wrote this tale to entertain readers. He writes in a way that sets the scene effortlessly and his vivid descriptions throughout the story make it seem like a movie is playing out in your head. Dickens uses a narrator that is regularly making his presence felt. Immediately, with no context, you are put into the heart of things when the narrator declares that ‘Marley was dead’. His use of the narrator generates the effect of being talked to. This helps makes the story entertaining as it acts as an invitation to join the Scrooge and the other characters in story.
Ultimately, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol’s lesson is to teach his society of the social injustices. The author elucidates that a little bit of righteousness towards someone, especially if they’re suffering from privation can make a substantial difference to them and potentially the people around them.