A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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How did Dickens use the Cratchit family to the show the struggles of the poor?

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In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens illustrates the struggles of the poor through his characterizations and descriptions of the Cratchit family.

The subject of poverty first appears at the very beginning of the novel when Scrooge is approached by two gentlemen taking up a collection to buy provisions for the poor over the holiday. When asked to help the less fortunate Scrooge replies, “Are there no prisons?... And the Union workhouses?... Are they still in operation?” These questions suggest that poverty is the fault of those afflicted by it and that they somehow deserve their suffering. During the Victorian Era, when A Christmas Carol was written, this was a common assumption.

But Dickens refutes this idea by his portrayal of the Cratchits. We first meet Bob Cratchit in Scrooge’s counting house, working diligently in a dismal setting despite the cold and the fact that his employer gives him only a tiny fire to keep warm. When we see his home in The Third Stave, we see it is a place...

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