A Chistmas Carol. Bob cratchit Watch

Yt.shusshhhh
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Hi,I am collecting key quotes about the Cratchits family in Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. Could anyone explain the meaning of "Bob had but fifteen "bob" a week himself; he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name;and yet the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house!"
I understand the first bit about him getting 15 shillings a week but I don't get the meaning of "he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name". Thanks
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LukeT333
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Since his christian name bob is also the slang for shillings, he takes home fiften copies of "bob" (his christian name/slang for 1 one shilling).
Need any advice on anything just continue to ask . It's better to understand things now before you cram all of it the night before the exam!
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Yt.shusshhhh
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(Original post by LukeT333)
Since his christian name bob is also the slang for shillings, he takes home fiften copies of "bob" (his christian name/slang for 1 one shilling).
Need any advice on anything just continue to ask . It's better to understand things now before you cram all of it the night before the exam!
Thanks! Does this pun have any particular effect? Also, what would you say the relationship of the Cratchit's family is like, between Bob and Martha, Bob and Tim and on the whole? Ty.
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Also, the ghost of Christmas Past is described as "yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child's proportions" . Does this mean he is more like an old man than a child ("yet not so like a child as like an old man")? And also what does "the appearance of having receded from the view" mean? That he is almost invisible maybe? Sorry for this many questions:confused:
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LukeT333
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(Original post by Yt.shusshhhh)
Thanks! Does this pun have any particular effect? Also, what would you say the relationship of the Cratchit's family is like, between Bob and Martha, Bob and Tim and on the whole? Ty.
Well in terms of anlysis the "bob" could link to the fact that all he has to rely on himself (getting "bobs" aka getting himself enough of himself to live properly) in terms of his own well being; he doesn't expect anyone else to do something that isn't because of his own actions. This shows the unlike selfish nature of him that Scrooge so juxtaposes with at the start of the book. This is just my interpretations and I'm sure there's lots of ways to look at it and its effects.

In terms of the relationship between the family:
- There's a lot of love, joy and even mercy from Cratchits despite all he's been through in his own life and from the scrooge; "bob was very cheerful with them", "hugged his daughter to his heart's content" and at the end of the book he makes a toast to him - "Mr Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast". This shows he's open to changing his views on someone if he feels they have changed their attitudes too
- Mrs Cratchit and her children are incredibly hard working. The whole section in stave three with them preparing dinner has endless quotes of them working hard: the endless sentence with lots of verbs "made the gravy...mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour...dusted the hot plates" that whole section is key to understanding the family spirit.
- Notice in that section, despite Tiny tim being frail, "his active little crutch was heard upon the floor" showing that he's still contributing.
- Mrs Cratchit loves Bob more than she hates Scrooge, showed by her still drinking to his health after calling him an "odius, stingy, hard, unfeeling man" because Bob wants her to and she loves her enough to still do it
- Bob is still thankful for his place in the world - "God bless us every one!" which challenges the belief that poor people have given up or blame God for their issues.
- Peter is Bob's "son and heir" which shows Dickens giving importance to peter.

That's the main stuff I think, there's endless amounts you can use from stave three, Dickens glorifies them so that the upper class can feel sympathetic and admire their positivity instead of merely pitying them which leads only to ignorance.
Hope this was what you were looking for
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LukeT333
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(Original post by Yt.shusshhhh)
Also, the ghost of Christmas Past is described as "yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child's proportions" . Does this mean he is more like an old man than a child ("yet not so like a child as like an old man"? And also what does "the appearance of having receded from the view" mean? That he is almost invisible maybe? Sorry for this many questions:confused:
For the first it's basically saying he is both like achild and like an old man, as the ghost is an apparition based on the journey that the ghost takes him on. It's like a child because it exposes the innocence and good naivity of youth that Scrooge doesn't want to see ("extinguish") because he either knows that his past was filled with lonliness or that he is just simply so stubborn he just doesn't care (it's key to have multiple interpretations at GCSE). Since the ghost is both a child and an old man, it could be foreshadowing the innocence as an old man he'll have my the end of the book.

For the second quote you're basically right I think. The ghost constantly shifts from seeming to be there and not be there at the same time ("what was light one instant, at another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in its distinctness") . This could represent his chances to be redeemed, and how his next actions will change whether his innocence his good or whether he decides to stay as he is - it's like a flicker in how time (or attitudes) in either going forward from him changing or staying how he is in the past. You could see this like being in a sort of purgatory but as a ghost, it flickers between him being redeemed and not having the chance.

That's just my weird analysis but it's open for interpretation!
Don't feel sorry about asking questions, it's greally good that you're asking these now! You've got the upper hand in the future because I guarantee if the this extract came up in the exam it would only be then that students would actually asked themselves what it means! So you're doing the right thing.

Hope that was helpful
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Yt.shusshhhh
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(Original post by LukeT333)
Well in terms of anlysis the "bob" could link to the fact that all he has to rely on himself (getting "bobs" aka getting himself enough of himself to live properly) in terms of his own well being; he doesn't expect anyone else to do something that isn't because of his own actions. This shows the unlike selfish nature of him that Scrooge so juxtaposes with at the start of the book. This is just my interpretations and I'm sure there's lots of ways to look at it and its effects.

In terms of the relationship between the family:
- There's a lot of love, joy and even mercy from Cratchits despite all he's been through in his own life and from the scrooge; "bob was very cheerful with them", "hugged his daughter to his heart's content" and at the end of the book he makes a toast to him - "Mr Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast". This shows he's open to changing his views on someone if he feels they have changed their attitudes too
- Mrs Cratchit and her children are incredibly hard working. The whole section in stave three with them preparing dinner has endless quotes of them working hard: the endless sentence with lots of verbs "made the gravy...mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour...dusted the hot plates" that whole section is key to understanding the family spirit.
- Notice in that section, despite Tiny tim being frail, "his active little crutch was heard upon the floor" showing that he's still contributing.
- Mrs Cratchit loves Bob more than she hates Scrooge, showed by her still drinking to his health after calling him an "odius, stingy, hard, unfeeling man" because Bob wants her to and she loves her enough to still do it
- Bob is still thankful for his place in the world - "God bless us every one!" which challenges the belief that poor people have given up or blame God for their issues.
- Peter is Bob's "son and heir" which shows Dickens giving importance to peter.

That's the main stuff I think, there's endless amounts you can use from stave three, Dickens glorifies them so that the upper class can feel sympathetic and admire their positivity instead of merely pitying them which leads only to ignorance.
Hope this was what you were looking for
Wow, thank you, these are very interesting and useful interpretations
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Yt.shusshhhh
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(Original post by LukeT333)
For the first it's basically saying he is both like achild and like an old man, as the ghost is an apparition based on the journey that the ghost takes him on. It's like a child because it exposes the innocence and good naivity of youth that Scrooge doesn't want to see ("extinguish") because he either knows that his past was filled with lonliness or that he is just simply so stubborn he just doesn't care (it's key to have multiple interpretations at GCSE). Since the ghost is both a child and an old man, it could be foreshadowing the innocence as an old man he'll have my the end of the book.

For the second quote you're basically right I think. The ghost constantly shifts from seeming to be there and not be there at the same time ("what was light one instant, at another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in its distinctness") . This could represent his chances to be redeemed, and how his next actions will change whether his innocence his good or whether he decides to stay as he is - it's like a flicker in how time (or attitudes) in either going forward from him changing or staying how he is in the past. You could see this like being in a sort of purgatory but as a ghost, it flickers between him being redeemed and not having the chance.

That's just my weird analysis but it's open for interpretation!
Don't feel sorry about asking questions, it's greally good that you're asking these now! You've got the upper hand in the future because I guarantee if the this extract came up in the exam it would only be then that students would actually asked themselves what it means! So you're doing the right thing.

Hope that was helpful
Thankyou this was actually so helpful.
Another question...
In the description of a Ghost of Christmas past "This garment hung so loosely on the figure that its capacious breast was bare,as if disdaining to be warded or conceald by any artifice" what does it mean by "as if disdaining to be warded or conceald by any artifice". Could this sentence suggest that he is big and open hearted and also very relaxed and casual?
Also, any idea why he is wearing "deep green"-colour symbolism maybe?
Thx
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Why does the Ghost of Christmas Past say in response to Scrooges question about the flavour of his torch he says "There is. My own." His own what? What is the significance of this?:confused:

Also what does this bit actually mean?? ""There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.""
I think they're arguing about the church and is it that the church was corrupt? "who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived." this bit doesn't make sense to me.Why is the spirit so passionate about this anyway?
Thanks again.
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LukeT333
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(Original post by Yt.shusshhhh)
Thankyou this was actually so helpful.
Another question...
In the description of a Ghost of Christmas past "This garment hung so loosely on the figure that its capacious breast was bare,as if disdaining to be warded or conceald by any artifice" what does it mean by "as if disdaining to be warded or conceald by any artifice". Could this sentence suggest that he is big and open hearted and also very relaxed and casual?
Also, any idea why he is wearing "deep green"-colour symbolism maybe?
Thx
When I come across difficult phrases like "as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice" I often look up the meanings of the words and use the closest synonyms. Here, the phrase could be translated to "as if rejecting to be protected or concealed by any trickery" meaning that he's clearly very vivid and shows himself confidently to Scrooge, he doesn't want to hide or seem unreal (which other of the Ghost did) - which both contrasts this with Scrooge's personality but also highlights and foreshadows the confidence and innocence that the past gave him (and everyone) when they were younger - as something as silly as exposing a breast is done so nonchalance (so yes to the casual and relaxed)

This inability to want to be protected by something, also mirrors the way Scrooge uses money to protect himself from the world, where here, the robe is hung so loosely such a seemingly wealthy rope is merely an accessory that does not fit too tightly.

Since this is an 19th century novel, it's useful to look up how imagery (e.g. the colour of the robe) connects to religion. This is important to know the right view of the imagery, as green for some people nowadays is seen as a more envious, or environmental colour. For Christianity, it symbolises freedom (hence the free-ness of the robe itself), bountifulness (mirroring his sense of abundance in his giving blessings from his torch) and of course it's one of the signature colours to representing Christmas - note how before Coca Coca Santa always wore a green robe, suggesting this ghost is just as generous with his gifts

Of course these are just my interpretations, feel free to make your own from looking up imagery and seeing the multiple meanings of words that give different interpretations to these passages.

Hope that clears a few more things up for you
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LukeT333
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(Original post by Yt.shusshhhh)
Why does the Ghost of Christmas Past say in response to Scrooges question about the flavour of his torch he says "There is. My own." His own what? What is the significance of this?:confused:

Also what does this bit actually mean?? ""There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.""
I think they're arguing about the church and is it that the church was corrupt? "who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived." this bit doesn't make sense to me.Why is the spirit so passionate about this anyway?
Thanks again.
There's a lot of context to the first quote. But it's basically saying how those who "claim to know" God and speak for them are not actually doing so. Doing "deeds of passion...in our name" is basically the Ghost saying people use Religion as a way to back up their deeds or laws or whatever, when they are doing the exact opposite (as they're actually just meaningless acts of "pride", "hatred" etc)

The Ghost and Scrooge are watching people take their uncooked meals to the bakers' shops to cook their food, which is an allusion to people of poverty in London at the time who could prepare and get a full meal from a baker because it was a religious day (Sunday was when Bakers would normally close but allowed ovens to be used). However, religious groups at the time were pushing for laws against any conducts like these because they thought it would invite the wrath of God. Dickens (it was happening at the same time of him writing the book) disagreed with entirely - so he uses this opportunity to display how some claim to know God, and put to things e.g. laws, in their name even though they have no right to.

"who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived." Kith and kin means family, so you see the quote like this:
"[people who claim to be using our name for good] are as strange to us [God, spirits etc] and our family [good souls on and off earth], as if they had never lived [they're so far away from our beliefs that they may have well never met us (because they had never lived]"

Hope that makes things a little clearer, again it's a good idea to look up these idioms like "kith and kin" to help understand these phrases.
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Yt.shusshhhh
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(Original post by LukeT333)
There's a lot of context to the first quote. But it's basically saying how those who "claim to know" God and speak for them are not actually doing so. Doing "deeds of passion...in our name" is basically the Ghost saying people use Religion as a way to back up their deeds or laws or whatever, when they are doing the exact opposite (as they're actually just meaningless acts of "pride", "hatred" etc)

The Ghost and Scrooge are watching people take their uncooked meals to the bakers' shops to cook their food, which is an allusion to people of poverty in London at the time who could prepare and get a full meal from a baker because it was a religious day (Sunday was when Bakers would normally close but allowed ovens to be used). However, religious groups at the time were pushing for laws against any conducts like these because they thought it would invite the wrath of God. Dickens (it was happening at the same time of him writing the book) disagreed with entirely - so he uses this opportunity to display how some claim to know God, and put to things e.g. laws, in their name even though they have no right to.

"who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived." Kith and kin means family, so you see the quote like this:
"[people who claim to be using our name for good] are as strange to us [God, spirits etc] and our family [good souls on and off earth], as if they had never lived [they're so far away from our beliefs that they may have well never met us (because they had never lived]"

Hope that makes things a little clearer, again it's a good idea to look up these idioms like "kith and kin" to help understand these phrases.
Great, thanks!

I am trying to describe Marley here. It says "with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead". I want to say that the noun "spectacle" here- meaning his eyes, sounds very similar to the term "spectre" which is used to describe a ghost, making him seem more supernatural and phantasmal. Do you think this is a valid point, or am i just making too much of this up? If so, how would i be able to describe what i'm trying to say here- is there a special technique to describe the similar sounding "spectacles" and "spectre" here?
Ty
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LukeT333
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(Original post by Yt.shusshhhh)
Great, thanks!

I am trying to descibe Marley here. It says "with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead". I want to say that the noun "spectacle" here- meaning his eyes, sounds very similar to the term "specter" which is used to describe a ghost, making him seem more supernatural and phantasmal. Do you think this is a valid point, or am i just making too much of this up? If so, how would i be able to describe what i'm trying to say here- is there a special technique to describe the similar sounding "spectacles" and "specter" here? Ty
Of course,
I guess a more "official" way of saying what you're trying to say would be something like:
Dickens uses homophones (or 'syntactic parallelism' depending on whether you want to explore the sound or not) in the words "spectre" and "spectacle" to add to the cumulative effect of this unexpected preternatural event.
You should try to expand on why dickens does this. Whether it links to emphasising it for the reader's shock or Scrooge or both is up to you to consider its wider effect.
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Yt.shusshhhh
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(Original post by LukeT333)
Of course,
I guess a more "official" way of saying what you're trying to say would be something like:
Dickens uses homophones (or 'syntactic parallelism' depending on whether you want to explore the sound or not) in the words "spectre" and "spectacle" to add to the cumulative effect of this unexpected preternatural event.
You should try to expand on why dickens does this. Whether it links to emphasising it for the reader's shock or Scrooge or both is up to you to consider its wider effect.
Thanks for the clarification!
Similarly,in "its livid colour made it horrible;but its horror[...]" - could the "horrible" and "horror" count as repetition?
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Yes I suppose it does.

you've found some interesting examples of of techniques others (including myself) are not going to spot easily, this will be the catalyst for you separating yourself from other students into a higher mark as your answer will be unique and offer more than transparent smilies.

You're doing great. continue to find these interesting more subtle techniques to impress the examiner.and your teachers, of course remaining as relevant as possible without going off on tangents - that's definitely my weakness especially in the poetry essays.
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