A Christmas Carol

how does dickens explore the experience of poverty in a Christmas carol


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Dickens blames the huge class stratification of Victorian England on the selfishness of the rich and, implicitly, on the Poor Laws that keep down the underclass. Scrooge is the obvious symbol of the greedy Victorian rich, while the Cratchits represent the working poor. But Dickens goes beyond sentimental portraits and reveals the underbelly of the city, notably in Stave Four. Even in the scene of the thieving workers divvying up the dead Scrooge's possessions, the accountability for their actions is put on Scrooge‹had he not been such a miser, they would not have resorted to stealing from him. When the children of Ignorance and Want crawl out from under the robes of the Ghost of Christmas Present, the ghost sends a message to Scrooge, and the same is given to the Victorian reader: to help out those in Want, and beware of Ignorance in oneself and others.