Conditions of the Poor in the 19th Century Portrayed in A Christmas Carol

1929 Words 8 Pages
In A Christmas carol, how does Dickens make the reader aware of the conditions of the poor in the 19th century? In what ways does he make his message palatable?

The story of ‘A Christmas Carol’ is set in Charles Dickens home town of London. In the Victorian period Londoners were split in two categories, the rich and poor and the streets were filled with diseases and many poor children died at young ages. There were many big families who had small but affordable meals throughout the year, but for one day in the year they attempted to earn as much money as they could so families could have a special meal. This day was
Christmas and in my essay I am going to be describing how Dickens get across the Christmas spirit people have.
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But Bob Cratchit who worked for Scrooge as a clerk was treated even worse then most poor workers who were never treated with dignity.
He was paid below the average pay for a regular poor worker, so struggled to pay for food and his family bills. He had to work in terrible conditions, for example Scrooge looked after the coal box and wouldn’t give Cratchit fclerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which efforts, not being a man of strong imagination, he failed.’ Bob Cratchit really loved Christmas and when he applauded Scrooge’s nephew talking to Scrooge about how great Christmas was, Scrooge said, ‘Let me hear another sound from you and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation.’ Scrooge had threatened to sack Bob Cratchit so close to Christmas and just shows how mean he was and how poorly workers were treated in Victorian times. In Dickens time workers were paid poor money but they had to rely on this income so much because if a poor person didn’t have this small amount of money they would surely have to live on the streets begging for food and would find it difficult to get another job which is why
Bob Cratchit can’t argue with Scrooge’s dismal treatment of him and he just has to cope with it. Cratchit had to work everyday in the year, except Christmas which was the one day the Cratchit family would have a proper meal with a goose and lots more treats they wouldn’t
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