A CHRISTMAS CAROL - LITERARY TECHNIQUES (Background indus (Social change …
A CHRISTMAS CAROL - LITERARY TECHNIQUES
Social change - cities expanding with development of factories, fewer jobs in country areas
Technological inventions - railways/mechanised industries
Published 1843 at start of Victorian Age
No social security only workhouses where worked for no wages for bed/board
Victorian age brought great wealth to many & middle-class could take 2 days off work at Xmas - mass produced toys & Xmas trees
Dickens wrote book due to social conscience & wanted upper classes to be aware of child poverty & relieve suffering - threat of working class rising up to overthrow middle classes if nothing done.
Dickens middle-class but father went to debtor's prison & Dickens worked in factory as a child
1844 Factories Act - reduced number of hours 9-13 year old could work to 9 hours a day, 6 days a week thanks to some politicians.
Language & Imagery
Presenting object or abstract concept as if human
The ancient tower of a church, whose gruff old bell was always peeping slyly down at Scrooge"
Giving human capabilities & feelings to natural objects
Humour in Cratchit's Xmas preparations - "
the slow potatoes bubbling up, knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out & pealed
modify nouns to make more specific
"The cold within him froze his
features, nipped his
Scrooge described as being
"solitary as an oyster"
- suggesting hard to open but might be pearl inside
Marley's face on door knocker
"like a bad lobster in a dark cellar"
Character names give reader idea of their personality
- scratching out a living, surviving through mutual support, acting as crutch for each other
- mean miser name - onomatopoeic
- jolly & energetic
Short exclamations for Cratchit's dialogue when Tiny Tim has died "
My little, little child!"
- sense of emotion
Adding more & more to list building sense of plenty at Fezziwig's party "
There were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances"
Typical structure for novella as only one
rather than several that you get in a novel
Scene set & characters established quickly
Each ghost develops the action & Scrooge's repentance adds to this
occurs when Scrooge won't look at face of dead man in his bed - climax is when sees his gravestone causing permanent change in Scrooge
Stave 5 is falling action as see how Scrooge hanged leading to resolution where Tiny Tim has not died
Novella is midway between short story & novel
Each section called Stave not chapter
Stave is 5 lines with music written on it - reminds us this is Xmas story like Xmas carols - to be read aloud like carols sung
Stave 4 The Last of the Spirits: Dickens steps out of narrative & addresses death directly in a paragraph beginning "
Oh cold, cold, rigid, dreadful Death.
" - death cannot negate a life well lived - Christian view
Protest against class elitism, abuse of power, materialism at expense of family, care for children & education
Ensures we know how Scrooge responds to different events such as his "
improved opinion of himself"
after this exchange with charity collectors at beginning - give insights into Scrooge's thoughts & feelings & make it easier to accept his later transformation