Essay by matthewmatthewUniversity, Ph.D.A+, October 2014

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Dickens presents to his readers an exploration of differing ideas and values through his tale of morality. In A Christmas Carol he demonstrates the idea that a life of ignorance towards morals will lead to an inevitable doom in the afterlife. In addition to this, Dickens also shows that that a lack of ethics can lead to an inner suffering that plagues one's life. Furthermore, Dickens suggests that morality is the helping hand that society so desperately needs. Conversely, Dickens makes a social commentary on society by pointing out the hardship of the poorer classes which paints the wealthier classes in an extremely poor light. Dickens insinuates that an existence which involves ignorance to morals eventually leads to anguish in the afterlife. Dickens demonstrates this idea through the character of Jacob Marley who comes to warn Scrooge of his eternal suffering, should he continue to be ignorant towards human morality.

The character of Jacob Marley serves as a harbinger for the punishment awaiting those who live selfishly like Scrooge does. The ghost of Jacob Marley tells Scrooge of the chain he 'forged in life' that is now forced to wear. Dickens symbolizes Marley's chain as a remnant of our past wrongdoings, thereby warning his readers of the doom they will suffer if they do not choose to live by principles such as generosity, compassion and sympathy for others. Moreover, this reinforces the moral points that Dickens wishes to get across. In addition to this, a lack of morals can lead to an inner suffering which leaves the individual isolated and alone. Dickens emphasises this through the character of Ebenezer Scrooge who is seen to be an 'odious' and 'stingy' old man. Scrooge's life is shown to be one of innate suffering and loneliness. Dickens uses the life of Scrooge to...