The Popularity of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Essay

I Think that 'A Christmas Carol'' by Charles Dickens is still popular today because it has a good moral story and people still enjoy a good old fashioned ghost story. This is because a lot of us are still interested in the afterlife and if such things as ghosts even exist we are fascinated by them and a novel with ghosts in, we cannot put it down. The moral story which seems even in modern day society to stick with us and we are still very much obsessed with Christmas and the joy that goes with it. Also people who read this book see there is a slight humorous side to the text which seems to make us more interested in the book itself and people like to feel amused, it makes them feel happy. As well as cleverly written text and an emotional side to the story. All of this ensures the survival of the classic story.

The theme of the book is all about Christmas, which appeals to us even in today's busy world. People like to read about Christmas because it is a happy time of year and brings joy to lots of people. Also Christmas past brings back memories Such as, the festive joy, the feel of Christmas and the love between family and friends. There are three views on Christmas in the book, Scrooges Bob Cratchitts and Fezziwig. Scrooge can't stand Christmas he thinks it a time of depression and deep gloom e.g. 'What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry?' This shows scrooge to be a grumpy old and generally depressing person at Christmas time. Bob Cratchitts view on the festive time of year is a happy merry and good will to everyone. And finally Fezziwig who enjoys Christmas and is hugely generous to everyone, sharing his wealth even if he has little of it. He tries to get into festive spirit even though he is not well off.

'A Christmas Carol' has changed from the days that Charles Dickens wrote it by constantly updating itself. There are numerous ways a book can update itself but 'A Christmas Carol' has been made in to a funny film 'A Muppets Christmas Carol' which scrooge is played by Michael Caine which makes it more interesting to the generation of the times. It also makes the plot more appealing to the younger generation who will read books such as 'A Christmas Carol'. The Muppets have done a fantastic job of recreating the story and is told by two Muppets who follow scrooge around the story commentating to the scenes that need playing. Also a major part that has changed is the language; this version has got rid of confusing and mind baffling words in some of the newer versions of the classical story. An example of this is 'Spectre'' and 'Humbug'' which is a way of saying someone has been annoying or talking a load of nonsense. Now they use words that even the youngest of people will recognize. This also makes the book more interesting because it does not seem as old or as outdated, which in most cases is a good thing.

Dickens describes his characters in such a way that they leave a lasting effect on you and a visual description or appearance in your mind.

Dickens gives you a lasting picture by using a skilled amount of writing that is cleverly written and cleverly put together. An example of this 'His body was transparent' and 'he has dead cold eyes'. Other examples of this; 'darkness is cheap and scrooge looked like it'. These are powerful words to describe someone or something. For a better example I will look at the way he describes scrooge with his words that stick pictures to the back of your brain. This gives a better understanding and knowledge of the story. We know scrooge is tight fisted, grumpy and old but how does dickens describe this 'Ferret eyes', 'The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait, made his eyes red and his thin lips blue'. I will think you will agree, this gives a clear description of a crusty, bitter, elderly man who represents misery in human form. To sum scrooge up he is 'A wicked old screw'. It is also possible to think or turn these descriptions into characters in a film such as 'A Muppets Christmas Carol'. With such clear descriptions all you have to do is put pencil to paper and start drawing. This is a vital part to why the book has not aged because it still has clear descriptions and good language which makes the book more enjoyable and readable.

The language used by Dickens is short sharp and effective which describes someone or something to Dickens best ability. He uses a lot of adjectives and lots of complex sentences. This helps visualize words to faces in the back of your head. The language is completely different from today mostly because language has moved along a compared to Dickens days we now use a lot more slang. In some cases slang has been introduced to try and revitalize the book and bring it up to the modern age.

Dickens creates different atmospheres in his story through his descriptions of different places. He uses description words to match different places to different atmospheres and places to people. E.g 'the gothic window on the wall' and 'fog and frost hung about the black old gateway'. Dickens has used short effective words to describe something or someone. This makes the story more interesting and more to the point. He also gives the story some tension and suspense. E.g. 'a pair of legs without a body' Now a head without a body'. This gives the story more excitement and makes you want to read on with suspense. These short, sharp and to the point describing adds enjoyment to the story because you can almost picture it.

Dickens has written 'A Christmas Carol' in such a way that it can make the reader laugh out loud especially when e.g. 'scrooge worries about weather a ghost can sit on a chair' He says it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing situation'. This element of humor gives the reader a laugh or two which every good book needs to be a success unless it is a grim story like a horror story. In addition every book needs a touch of emotion to pull on the heart strings of the readers e.g. 'A solitary child, neglected by his friend is left there still'. Dickens has taken into account these factors to produce a funny witty full of emotion exciting story. Most people enjoy a laugh, an emotion and to make the reader think, laugh or cry. Dickens has done this to produce a book that will live on forever.

In my opinion the main reason for 'A Christmas Carol' been so popular in modern day society is the moral message. The message that makes you stop and think after you have read the book. The message was well in my opinion: 'Things can only get better'. For instance at the beginning of the story Scrooge was a crusty old man and at the end of the story he saw the light at the end of the tunnel. He made it out of that dark tunnel and shared his Christmas good will with everyone. This moral message will live on forever like the book, read time and time again.

Works Cited:

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Classics of Children's Literature. Ed. John W. Griffith and Charles Frey. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan, 1992. 197-249.

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