Heartless Capitalism Exposed in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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Beginning in England in the late eighteenth century, the Industrial Revolution changed the face of the country's economy. Despite becoming a center of wealth and production for the world, the majority of the capital rested firmly in the hands of wealthy capitalists who had little regard for the suffering endured by millions of working-class individuals. In "A Christmas Carol"(1843) by Charles Dickens, this theme of industrial suffering is illustrated through the historical and symbolic characterization of Bob Cratchit and his family, juxtaposed against Scrooge's heartless capitalist ideals. Through this powerful theme of industrial suffering, Dickens permits the reader to visualize the suffering of the poor during the mid-Victorian…show more content…
It is ironic that the comforter which should provide warmth and comfort, bears little protection from the cold and suffering. Similarly, Bob Cratchit is not permitted to replenish his fire because Scrooge withholds the coal box inside his own office. This coal symbolizes the basic necessities of life which the gluttonous upper class individuals withhold from the working-class, in a complete disregard for their well-being. Therefore, having seen poverty first-hand, Dickens implies via the poor salary, the harsh working conditions, and through the lack of heat that the capitalists willfully abuse their workers as to retain extra capital for their personal use.

Due to Bob Cratchit's passiveness amidst the disdainful conditions, Dickens implies that the working class cannot stand up to the wealthy, for in doing so they risk their employment. If they were to stand up, the capitalists could easily find another individual who will eagerly fill the same position under the same conditions. Representative of this socio-economic situation, according to Green and Parton "occupation [was] critical when life was conducted as a hand to mouth existence". The workers are trapped; without the little money they earn through employment their families will starve. Therefore

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