The Student Room Group

a christmas carol practice answer

what would you grade this, and how can i improve? im stuck on grade 7s, last time i was one mark away from an 8 but idk what i missed..

Dickens emphasises on the importance of family to portray the impact it makes on an individual's wellbeing and character in the Victorian era. The novella illustrates how Dickens believed that those who celebrate Christmas with their families are more likely to feel jovial and cheerful rather than those who spend it isolated. The Cratchits and Fezziwigs celebrations are exemplars of those who spend Christmas feeling content with their family, in contrast to the miserly Scrooge who is alone.

With the appearance of Fred, the importance of family becomes more apparent as he demonstrates the power of family and keeping contact with one another. Though Scrooge constantly shuts him down by repetitively exclaiming “Good afternoon!” to Fred’s offers, Fred does not back down. Fred reassures Scrooge that he wants “nothing” from him; that all he wants is to “be friends”. The idea that Fred had to reassure Scrooge he only wanted good intentions implies Scrooge’s miserly behaviour has made him believe everyone is going to sabotage him. Perhaps this could be the result of having no contact with family; people who always want the best for each other. Fred demonstrates someone who only has good intentions for Scrooge, as he only wants to “be friends”. This beholds the idea that Fred and his family deeply care for Scrooge, as he offers generous proposals even after Scrooge’s repulsive attitude. Alternatively, it may depict the power of family, and how even through hardships (Scrooge’s dismissals), they continue to push through. Dickens offered these interpretations to share the idea with the Jacobean audience that family is generous and helps you when you are feeling down. This is significant as it links to the Christian belief of kindness and how it can be shown through generosity of the family. Moreover, the Jacobean audience may also link the influence and power of the family to the idea of how Dickens himself had to push through hardships of poverty just for the sake of his family. Dicken asked for “nothing” more; instead he worked in workhouses as a result of the 1912 Poor Law and worked for his family’s comfort. This may make the Jacobean audience compelled to do the same, as they may empathise with both Fred and Dickens’ efforts after they highlighted the importance of family.

Throughout the novella, family is further emphasised as the readers are exposed to the Fezziwig’s huge family. This introduction demonstrates how although his family is big, it does not stop them from celebrating Christmas all together as “they all came, anyhow”. This illustrates how family has no barriers and will always find a way no matter what. Moreover, this is also heavily implied as Dickens offers many depictions of Fezziwig’s family. Some of them came in “shyly”, and “some boldly”, representing the contrast in his family. The juxtaposition between “shyly” and “boldly” reinforces the idea that family will come together, despite their differences. The long sentence used in this scenario also offers the idea that no matter how large the family is, they will face no trouble in coming together to celebrate the blessed Christian celebration of Christmas. Dickens proposes this interpretation to allow Jacobean readers to come to the concussion of how important family really is, as it is able to overcome many barriers. Due to the circumstances of the Jacobean era, only the rich and wealthy had the opportunity to actually have leisure time and buy a book during it. This is significant because Dickens knew that if the ruling class are the most influential, then they are able to adopt the idea that family is important after reading the novella. Alternatively, Dickens may have wanted to spread the religion of Christianity by writing about Christian beliefs. Overall, the illustration of Fezziwig’s family offers the idea that family is able to overcome indifferences between one another; highlighting its importance and power.

Dickens shares the importance of family deeper throughout the novel using the individual of Bob Cratchit, who faced struggles with money, yet is able to celebrate a Christmas just as special as Fezziwig’s. Bob is depicted to be wearing “clothes darned up”, implying that he had them fixed rather than buying new ones. This illustrates the idea that Bob is poor as he cannot afford new clothes. Although he comes from a lower class, he still has “tiny tim upon his shoulder”, along with his “brushed” up clothes. Alternatively, this may imply that his family and Tiny Tim are more important than money, as he sits “upon his shoulder” where his “darned up” clothes lie beneath him. In this scenario, his clothes act as a metaphor for his poverty and “tiny tim” acts as a metaphor for his family. Figuratively, Dickens depicts how families are more prioritised than his issue of poverty as they are placed above it. This offers the idea that even through poverty and suffering, family will always be able to care for each other no matter the circumstances. Dickens wanted the wealthy readers to empathise with Bob and think that they should do something with their wealth to allow the suffering to finally feel peace whilst spending time with their family, as that is what they care about the most. Overall, Dickens shares the idea that even through poverty ,families can still find joy as long as they have each other.

Overall, Dickens heavily implies how family plays an important part in wellbeing and Christmas. Family in A Christmas Carol is portrayed to come together and feel jovial, even if they are suffering in society. Dickens’ intentions were for the higher class to empathise with the suffering class in order to help them and put an end to the social class divide may cause them to struggle whilst celebrating Christmas with their family.

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