A Christmas Carol

What is the role of characterisation in 'A Christmas Carol'? 12th Grade

“If they would rather die, then they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.” Ebenezer Scrooge’s words encapsulate how he is characterised as a largely disagreeable, morally vacuous man. Silhouetted against the backdrop of Victorian England, a time period rife with avarice and social stratification, the construction of character in Charles Dickens’ novella 'A Christmas Carol' is what gives the tale its allegorical nature. However, it is not only Scrooge’s characterisation which is instrumental to Dickens’ novel, as Jacob Marley also acts as a medium through which Dickens cautions the reader of the deleterious ramifications of leading a uncharitable life. Without doubt, while the Cratchits additionally serve to juxtapose the repugnant nature of the rich against their benevolence, the constructions of the Ghosts of Christmas underscore the how it is important to adhere to tradition in the face of relentless social upheaval.

It is through the characterisation of Scrooge and Marley in Dickens’ tale that the consequences of self-interest are unveiled. Scrooge, being a caricature for the miserly, misanthropic rich man who “no warmth could warm” is the vehicle through which Dickens comments upon the moral vacuousness...

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