The Student Room Group

Can someone mark my ACC english lit Essay?

I wrote this essay, is there anything I could improve on, and which level do people think I'm on, I think there are 6, and out of 30? - AQA
Poverty in ACC.

P1 - Scrooge
P2 - Ignorance and Want + Cratchits? GofCPresent
P3 - Transformation SALARY

In the novella Dickens presents the theme of poverty through the contrast of Scrooge and other characters, such as the Cratchits and the various ghosts. As he meets and continues on his journey of transformation, his eyes are opened to the unjust social class system and the unfair poverty of the majority of London residents. Dickens does this to educate the middle/upper class readers of the need for change.

At the beginning of the extract Scrooge is cold, and has no empathy for those in poverty and need of his wealth and help. He states ‘If they would rather die..they had better do it and decrease the surplus population’. Scrooge is the mouthpiece for the capitalist upper class views of the time, and that they believed they were superior and more important. Dickens shows his contempt for this behaviour and inhumane acts of gaining and profiting off the poverty of those with less. He makes his readers aware of this social class ‘hierarchy’ and highlights the need for change. In addition ‘Decrease the surplus population’ are words taken from the Malhusian theory, that the world can only develop and become better if the poor die, leaving the rich and supported with more resources and money. Dickens ensures that his readers realise how blind the wealthy were to poverty and only through realising the pain and suffering and going through it firsthand, like Scrooge when he loses tTiny Tim, do they feel guilty and realise the need for change. Furthermore ‘surplus population’ is ironic, as Scrooge complains about there being too many people, however not one of them loves him, and is there for him. His only connection was Marley, his ‘sole’ one, however he was just food business and died. This is reinforced with ‘I wish to be left alone’.Scrooge is not poor in aspects of money, but in love and relationships he is the poorest of all . ALso here Scrooge believes that the poor ‘idle’ for Catholics, this is a sin. This is shown with ‘make idle people merry’. He believes the poor deserve poverty, as they were led into this situation because they were lazy, and as a punishment for their sins. This is also ironic, as the upper class will be the ones getting punished accori=ding to christians in the afterlife, as they value love and the Christmas spirit over wealth and personal gain. Merry is ironic, as his wealth makes no one merry, not even himself, he hoards his money, and no one gains, even though he tricks himself into thinking it. His selfishness pains not just himself put the people in poverty, in desperate need. Therefore Dickens shows how poverty should not exist and only does due to the selfish attitudes of the rich.

In the middle of the novella, Scrooge presents the theme of Poverty through Scrooge's time with the ghost of a Christmas present. ‘Mrs Cratchi made the gravy hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour: Mis Belinda sweetened up the apple sauce.’ The listing of the many family members creates the feeling that the members are never ending, but so is love and life. Even though they have little money, they are able to embody the Christmas spirit. They are poor in theory, but rich in love. ‘Hissing hot’ on the outside could symbolise their unideal living conditions and the discomfort they feel, however the sybalance of ‘h’ a soft sound, could imply the swee care and love that underlines and is always there. ‘Vigour’ reinforces this as it shows the family is full of life and grateful for what they have. They are examples of the virtuous poor that never complain and are always happy with what they have. DIckens may have put these characters in the novella to show that the poor are not idle, and sinners, they are better people than the upper class. They are foils to Scrooge as he is ‘alone’ and rich, while they are together, poor and happy. Poverty does not define how they behave, it may even make them more grateful and better humans. After Scrooge witnesses that his superstitions about the poor being idle are untrue, the Ghost of CPresent shows him Ignorance and Want. ‘The boy is ignorant, the girl is want’. They are symbolic of the poor in society. “Ignorance” could be a reference to the upper class hiding from the truth, like the children were hidden under the robe or suggests that due to the children in poverty not being taught basic skills such as reading and writing, as they need to go work to get money to eat, they are uneducated. This leads to a relentless cycle of poverty. This ignorance then leads to ‘want’. The poor now want food, money and basic necessities to survive. It could also connote the greed and want for wealth of the upper class that lead to the huge gap between rich and poor. They are described as ‘yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish. ‘Yellow’ could be linked to illness, and that poverty creates sick children, or the fact that it is an illness itself. ‘Meagre’ highlights the lack of resources and food for the poor and ‘wolfish’ uses zoomorphism to show the terrible inhumane conditions that no human should have to live with. This creates pathos in the readers, as they feel pity to the children and may act and donate to them. DIckens highlights how the children are in need of education. This was a main point of focus for him as he desperately wanted to break the cycle of poverty. He had first hand experience, as he had to leave school to work in a factory when his father went to jail for debt. Dickens firmly believes poverty is a horrible hidden part of society, and ensures his readers are aware of it, like Scrooge so they can change and help.

At the end of the extract Scrooge realises how the poor are in need of help and reaches out to the Cratchits. I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family” the use of ‘I’ll’ , a personal pronoun shows scrooge taking accountability for his actions and acting on his guilt. He realises the cratchits are struggling and in need, like many other families in poverty and offers not just to pay Bob more, but to help. He is going over and beyond. If Scrooge can change, the archetypal villain to the hero and saviour of Tiny Tim, anyone can change. By not naming the amount and just ‘salary’ this shows his growth. Money is unimportant, unless it is to help others. You cannot put a price on a person. This contrasts with the ‘5 shillings’ he paid Bob at the beginning, which was of the price of the book (15 shillings). This shows that the book was targeted at the upper classes, to become more aware of poverty and act towards i like Scrooge. Dickens believes poverty can be easily solved if the selfish upper classes donate and give charity, relishing in the Christmas spirit. In addition they will gain love and family. Scrooge became a ‘second father’ to tiny tim. Therefore poverty has an easy solution according to Dickens

In conclusion Dickens presented his attitudes towards poverty through the journey of Scrooge. As Scrooge began to realise the painful truth and change necessary, so did the reader. Ending the novella, with a conclusive and happy family, and hope for the future

Quick Reply