Dickens Story Films

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Ben Walsgrove 29/04/01 How Successfully Can a Modern Film Recreate the Horror of Dickens' Spirits in "˜A Christmas Carol' It seems that a modern film cannot totally recreate the horror of Dickens' spirits in "˜A Christmas Carol'. For a start you can tell that the film is a more modern version of the story than the book because of the language, which is used to describe what is going on. In the film it is normal everyday language, which is used throughout the film so that it is easy for anyone in the modern day to understand. The language in the film is different from how it is in the book for a number of different reasons. Firstly the book was written over 130 years ago in 1868 when the English language was a lot different from how it is today. Some of the words which are used to describe the ghosts in the book are almost unheard of today like "˜conducive' which would be replaced by "˜contributing' in the modern day film and "˜supplication' which means "˜in prayer' or "˜begging' in the modern language.

There are also some phrases in the book which you would not hear going around on the streets in the modern day. Some of the phrases you have to study hard to understand and some phrases are easier to understand if you think of the words being in different places in the sentences. In Dickens' book the spirit of Christmas past states "˜would you so soon put out, with wordly hands, the light I give you?' which would be hard for a modern day person to understand. In the modern day film they would change the language so that even younger people can understand it and they would translate it to something like "˜would you turn down my help which I am offering you so soon before you have given me a chance?' so that a wider range of people would be able to understand what it means. The spirit of Christmas present is trying to explain to Scrooge at one point how by paying his employees he is depriving them of food and means to live and so they will soon die.