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Dickens explicitly criticizes the issues of poverty in Victorian society in this excerpt. For this, he utilizes the characters of Ignorance and Wants as allegories, depicting them as victims of severe deprivation, emphasizing the challenges faced by the poor and the situations under which they lived. Dickens uses the characters of Indifference and tries to show the viewers’ ignorance of society’s issues while they are consumed by covetousness.

He accomplishes this in the extract of Dickens’ intention to shock and appall the viewer by using Ignorance and Wretchedness as a metaphor for how the poor in Victorian society are handled. This can be seen in the ‘yellow, meager, ragged, scowling, wolfish’ lexical field; in which Dickens highlights how hideous they looked while offering an insight into how indigent they were. Dickens uses this to explain the horrific creature that humanity had made, whilst the adverb ‘yellow’ indicates that they were ill and malnourished, indicating the effects of social injustice. The adverb ‘wolfish’ shows that they were inhuman. As they should be full of life and material, Dickens uses the fact that they are kids here to demonstrate how unchildlike they look. In Victorian culture, this represents the harsh reality and poor treatment of the workhouses and child labor. As he had first-hand experience with child labor, this played a major part in Dickens’ appetite for social change. In addition, the author uses the novel’s structure to create a dramatic shift of tone from Fred’s celebrations to describe the wretchedness of Ignorance; to create the reader’s emotional reaction, and to highlight the real problem in society. In addition to this, Dickens uses The Ghost of Christmas Present’s character to bring ignorance to the audience and to highlight that injustice is now occurring in society. The line ‘they cling to me’ demonstrates this. The verb ‘cling’ has connotations of terror, which may indicate the dangerous circumstances facing the poor. Perhaps it could also demonstrate that stressing the daily suffering of the poor in society, they hang on tightly for life. Ignorance and Desire come from the Ghost, which often symbolizes how the rich have ignored the poor and rejected them.

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The goal of Dicken here is to raise awareness of society’s inequality, targeting the affluent Victorian audience at the time to show them their lack of social responsibility, making them feel guilty and accountable. In addition, Dickens uses the Ghost as his voice in this extract to represent his thoughts and desires, which are for social change and transparency. The author illustrates that the use of hyperbolic language here reflects the need for reform in Victorian culture through the noun ‘doom,’ otherwise, there will be consequences and all of mankind will be doomed. The noun ‘doom’ has connotations of hell, as Christianity and morality were very influential at the time, the purpose here will be to scare the Victorian people. Therefore, Dickens says that if they do not change their ways and attitudes towards the disadvantaged, they will be doomed, initiating a reaction and response from the audience to social justice and transparency.

Dickens makes frequent references to the corrupt and destructive theme of poverty in the novella. His aim in doing this is to denounce the society of Victoria and to try to cause a change in their attitudes towards the poor. Dickens uses the character of Scrooge in the novella to represent the harsh middle-class Victorian views towards the lower classes. This can be seen through the ‘Dismal Little Cell’ line, which describes the workplace of Bob Cratchit.

In addition, in the novella, Dickens portrays the Cratchits as a sign of the poor, but they are a loving and caring family despite this. This can be seen by the ‘as good as gold’ line, which similarly emphasizes that Bob Cratchit values his kids and family more than money. Dickens’ purpose here is to contrast the Cratchits with Scrooge who, despite having money as well as the upper-class men who are portrayed as ‘monstrous’, is lonely and unhappy, which makes the audience doubt their own happiness and lifestyle choices, making them realize that money is not everything.

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