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A Christmas Carol- Charles Dickens Essay topics: 1. Scrooge is motivated by more than just greed in A Christmas Carol. Discuss 2. Scrooge’s nephew is Dickens model for how we should conduct ourselves according to the true spirit of Christmas. Do you agree? 3. Tiny Tim is the main catalyst for Scrooge’s change in A Christmas Carol. Do you agree? 4. The main theme of A Christmas Carol is Ignorance. Discuss 5. Scrooge doesn’t care about the poor in A Christmas Carol because he has no experience of poverty. Discuss 6. The narrator is just as important a character in A Christmas Carol, as Scrooge, his nephew or Tiny Tim.
Discuss 7. Each ghost marks an important step in Scrooge’s journey towards being a better person. Explain 8. Scrooge has to understand the lives of others before he can understand his own. Discuss 9. Why is ‘Doom’ written on the brow of Ignorance? 10. Tiny Tim is at the centre of A Christmas Carol . Do you agree? 11. Dickens shows the reader that the important things in life cannot be measured. Discuss 12. The main character in this story is Christmas itself. Do you agree? 13. Scrooge is the real hero of A Christmas Carol. Do you agree? 14. Scrooge changes when he recognizes that he is not alone. Do you agree? 5. A Christmas Carol suggests that there are different kinds of poverty. To what extent do you agree? 16. Although it is a ghost story, A Christmas Carol is an uplifting tale. Do you agree? 17. How does Dickens express the need for widespread social reform in A Christmas Carol? Discuss 18. A Christmas Carol is a cliched old moral fable with no possible relevance to readers of the twenty-first century. Discuss 19. The novella is more about social life in London than it is about Scrooge. Discuss 20. The human in A Christmas Carol serves no purpose. Discuss 21. Scrooge is a minor character in his own novel.
Discuss 22. What role does social criticism play in A Christmas Carol? To what extent is the story a social commentary? 23. Dickens really only reveals the ugly nature of mankind in A Christmas Carol. Do you agree? 24. Scrooge is selfish throughout the entire novel. He only really is ever concerned with how he will be affected by his actions. Do you agree? 25. How does Dickens represent wealth in A Christmas Carol? Discuss 26. Why is Fred so keen to connect with Scrooge? 27. In the novel, A Christmas Carol, the minor characters have the greatest impact on both Scrooge and the reader. Do you agree?
Author: Brandon Johnson
A Essay Topic for Christmas Carol
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A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
The following entry presents criticism on Dickens's novella A Christmas Carol (1843). See also Charles Dickens Short Story Criticism, A Tale of Two Cities Criticism, Little Dorrit Criticism, Our Mutual Friend Criticism, and Hard Times Criticism.
A Christmas Carol (1843) is one of the most recognizable stories in English literature. With its numerous literary, stage, television, radio, and cinematic adaptations, the tale has become a holiday classic, and the character Ebenezer Scrooge has become a cultural icon. First published in 1843, the novella garnered immediate critical and commercial attention and is credited with reviving interest in charitable endeavors, the possible perils of economic success, and festive traditions of the Christmas season. It is the first work in Dickens's series of Christmas stories known collectively as the Christmas Books, as well as the most popular and enduring.
Plot and Major Characters
Set in the 1840s on Christmas Eve, A Christmas Carol chronicles the personal transformation of the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, the proprietor of a London counting house. A wealthy, elderly man, Scrooge is considered miserly and misanthropic: he has no wife or children; he throws out two men collecting for charity; he bullies and underpays his loyal clerk, Bob Cratchit; and he dismisses the Christmas dinner invitation of his kind nephew, Fred. Moreover, Scrooge is a strong supporter of the Poor Law of 1834, which allowed the poor to be interned in workhouses. As he prepares for bed on Christmas Eve in his solitary, dark chambers, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley. In life Marley was very similar in attitude and temperament to Scrooge: remote, cruel, and parsimonious. In death he has learned the value of compassion and warns Scrooge to reform his ways before it is too late. Marley announces that Scrooge will be visited by three more specters: the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to his unhappy childhood, revealing that the young boy's experiences with poverty and abandonment inspired a desire to succeed and gain material advantage. Unfortunately, Scrooge's burgeoning ambition and greed destroyed his relationship with his fiancée and his friends. The Ghost of Christmas Present is represented by a hearty, genial man who reminds Scrooge of the joy of human companionship, which he has rejected in favor of his misanthropic existence. Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appears in a dark robe and shrouded in mystery. Silently, the ghost reveals the ambivalent reaction to news of Scrooge's own death. Scrooge realizes that he will die alone and without love, and that he has the power and money to help those around him—especially Bob Cratchit's ailing son, Tiny Tim. Scrooge begs the ghost for another chance and wakes in his bed on Christmas morning, resolved to changing his life by being generous and loving to his family, employees, and the poor.
A Christmas Carol has been deemed a biting piece of social commentary by some. Critics have underscored the scathing criticism of 1840s London, an economically and socially stratified city that Dickens believed imprisoned its poor and oppressed its lower classes. The prevailing socio-economic theory of that time held that anyone who was in debt should be put in a poorhouse. In his story, Dickens contended that the reformation of such a materialistic, shallow society can be achieved gradually through the spiritual transformation of each individual. The story is well regarded for its expression of a fundamental faith in humanity and its unflagging censure of social injustice, which was inspired by Dickens's troubled background and his visit to the Cornish tin mines where he observed young children laboring under appalling conditions. As Scrooge transforms from a cruel, embittered miser to a kindly philanthropist, Dickens advocates a more forgiving, generous society that values spiritual growth, not material wealth. Other major thematic concerns in A Christmas Carol include the role of memory, the importance of family, and the soul-deadening effect of greed on the human spirit.
Upon its initial publication, A Christmas Carol was greeted with mixed reviews. Some commentators derided the tale as too sentimental and laden with exaggeration; other critics maintained that A Christmas Carol lacked the complexity of Dickens's later work. Yet the novella remains a Christmas favorite. Commentators praise Dickens's evocative portrayal of 1840s London and his passionate exploration of social and political issues. Dickens's fervent belief in social justice as depicted through A Christmas Carol is credited with inspiring an outpouring of charitable endeavors during his time and a revival of Christmas spirit and traditional celebrations. Critics have also explored the fairy-tale and gothic elements in A Christmas Carol, and many praise Dickens's use of wry humor in the story. The relevance and power of Scrooge's transformation from forlorn old niggard to benignant philanthropist is regarded as the key to the novella's unflagging popular appeal. Several scholars have debated the nature of Scrooge's conversion, which is known as “the Scrooge problem.” Some critics, including Edmund Wilson, conclude that the transformation is a temporary one; others have maintained that it is total and irrevocable. Scrooge's metanoia has also been placed within its historical and literary context, and critics have related it to the religious revival then fervent in nineteenth-century England. A few full-length studies of the novella have traced the impact of the story on English and American culture and have discussed the copious imitations, adaptations, and modernized versions of the tale.